Friday evenings usually find me surfing Zomato, looking for a new place to eat or some event to go to. I have loved most of their features, but there are some trifling issues that niggle at me and I wish they would rectify. So when the zomatoans asked for feedback, I really can’t refuse, can I? Plus, the mugs seem pretty cool!
1. Filters: The number of search filters Zomato provides are pretty amazing. Type of restaurant, location, cuisine, cost for two, even presence of wifi. You can also search for a particular dish and get restaurants serving it. A really well-developed search engine.
2. Menu cards: I have said this before, and I will say it again, Zomato’s USP is the menu cards they put up, updated at regular intervals. It makes it easy to plan an outing, with respect to budget and cuisine. As my colleague was saying a while back- the only difference between zomato and other food review sites, when they started off, was that they put up menu cards. And that has made all the difference.
3. Rewards: Zomato has come up with great ways to entice foodies to post reviews, from their leaderboard to the ‘write for a bite’ contests. And the setting of certain minimum standards (like word count) for the reviews ensures less spammage.
4. Interactivity: Zomato seems to be slowly moving towards becoming a social group for foodies. They are highly responsive on twitter, with regular contests and all, and also the new option to follow people and like reviews is a sure winner.
What needs to work better:
1. Photographs: It’s been a cause of concern to me that Zomato posts photos of restaurants and dishes without crediting the original owners of the photos. They do say that any photos claimed under copyright would be removed, but it would be much more responsible if they credited the source of photos.
2. Less clutter: The homepage currently looks too cluttered, what with the search functions, leaderboard, featured reviews and a bunch of other bric-a-brac. Some, like the blog and newsletter excerpts, are infrequently updated, and can be moved off. The footer is also too crowded. They don’t need to clutter the page with all the links: dropdown menus will serve them better.
3. Forum: A forum would be a great place for people to meet like-minded foodies, discover new restaurants, make and get recommendations, and in general, have healthy discussions about food and related matters.
Zomato has constantly kept innovation and user friendliness at the forefront, and I look forward to seeing what they come up with in the months and years to come.