A true foodie in India is no stranger to Zomato.com. Like many innovative internet startups, what started as a collection of menu cards on the internet called Foodiebay.com, Zomato.com today is the most loved foodie website in India and expanding rapidly around the globe. Zomato has made my life and lives of countless foodies like me quite simple. In fact it has given us a platform to voice our opinions and share our experiences with the rest of the people who love eating out and “live to eat”.
Zomato happened to me, like the team likes to put, eons ago. Browsing through the internet in search of a restaurant, I chanced upon Zomato and after using its features for a couple months decided to start writing my own reviews about the places I visited. Present day scenario, neither me nor anyone in my network dare venture out to a restaurant without researching about it on Zomato. So now, when Zomato and the team has given us a chance to review and be a critic of the website we love so much, I have jumped to the opportunity.
Like mentioned I have to list a few of my likes and dislikes about Zomato, with suggestions that I would like the website to incorporate. Being biased as I am, I would definitely start with the good points of the website.
- The Zomato Red – The RED used by Zomato for its logo is perfect, embodying the DNA of the young, vibrant & fun place Zomato is both as website and an organization. I would not have had it any other way and as a designer I have started using this hue of RED in my designs as the “Zomato Red”.
- The Minimalistic Homepage – As soon as one lands on the website, the user cannot help but notice the clutter free minimalistic design of the home page. This no-nonsense design enhances the user experience manifold and as low as 2 clicks on the mouse helps him to navigate to a restaurant of their choice. Whether you are sure of your choices or just exploring for options, the interface just breezes you through your filtered options.
- The Restaurant pages in the mobile app – A restaurant page, especially on the mobile app is loaded with info arranged neatly with tab. Whether it is a menu to browse or directions to a place, the info is easy to find and use. The coolest feature on the page is the dialing option which happens to dial through the Zomato website and majority of the times you are easily patched through.
- The Foodie meet-up – Though this has nothing to do with the website and only the reviewers, this foodie meet-up has become a high point of a lot of us foodies who write regularly write on the website. We look forward to it for the great food and through this have made some great friends. A great initiative by Zomato to make its users feel special.
There is always scope for improvement in everything we do and Zomato of course believe that they are no exception to this rule. They want us to kill them and that too in broad daylight. Though that is the hardest part, it is sometime necessary to punch your friend in the nose so that he gets back up stronger.
- Language …… Guys!!! – My biggest grouse while reading the reviews is the grammar and language on the website. I understand some are first timers and some don’t have a grasp of the English language, but if you are putting someone up on the leader board, the language should matter.
- Quality over Quantity – The first point leads me to this, that ever since the point system for the leader board has been started the quality of reviews have started going down. Barring a few who take pains to write good in context (not lengthy) reviews, people have started gunning for the above 50 word limit and writing completely nonsensical reviews. The points collected by thanking someone have become based on a “mutual admiration society” and the motto is “you scratch my back while I scratch yours”. Some reviews are downright ludicrous and when on the leaderboard reduce the credibility of the website. My suggestion would be to first have a rule to only have people on the leaderboard who have a particular percentage of featured reviews and secondly, only verified users should be on the leader board (I know I might get a lot of flak for this from some fellow reviewers).
- Foodie Genius – This is more of a suggestion which I have had in mind for a long time. A foodie genius tab which gives a registered user, suggestions based on his or her browsing history. Consequently, it can also answer specific questions about a restaurant based on the reviews of the top reviewers to a first time user. I feel this is an idea which will add value to the website and worth exploring.
- Dish wise recommendations – We as foodies are always looking for the best butter chicken in town, or the extra strong coffee in the morning, or the best Indian styled noodles in the area. This section would help you hunt for your favourite dish at the restaurant closest to you.
Zomato is doing a great job in helping us food hunters to keep on hunting for good food and I have started experimenting more with my food, with all credit to Zomato. The likes and dislikes are just another reason for me to write Zomato, but Kudos to everyone in the organization for solving such a common problem with such simplicity.