Editor’s Pick Of The Week: Zomato

Welcome to the sixth edition of Editor’s Pick Of The Week. This week, Rajesh Pandey, talks about Zomato, a restaurant listing service in India, and how it has helped him overcome his food related boredom. 

I was, at one of time in my life, overweight and used to live on fast food and sweet, sugary drinks. After I lost oodles of weight and got back in shape, I keep a stern eye on what I eat. I completely stay away from oily Indian food, fast food and aerated drinks.

However, I have a day assigned, when I can eat whatever I want to, every week. Even though I keep my diet in check, I am a foodie from heart and ‘cheating’ once a week is no crime. I absolutely love gorging on chicken dishes.

The problem is that I don’t prefer to go out and eat, and it is not possible for me to know the menu card or the chicken dishes available at restaurants near my place or whether they offer home delivery or not. This is where Zomato comes in. I have tried at least 20 different chicken dishes every since I found out about Zomato. I have found some very nice restaurants that serve excellent Chinese food. Earlier, I used to eat the same chicken dish on my ‘cheating’ day, but now, I try a different cuisine altogether!

The ability to check the whole menu card of a restaurant or the expected bill for two people is something, which will be loved by many foodies and couples.

One major reason why I use Zomato in my daily life is because of their Android app. There are many similar services like Zomato in India, but none of them have a dedicated Android, or even iOS and WP7 app. The Android and iOS version of the app recently got a major UI makeover, which has made me love the service more.

For me, Zomato is the Google of restaurants. Whenever someone asks me for a restaurant recommendation, I tell them to “Zomato it”. I have even made sure that all my relatives and friend install the app on their phone, and use it whenever they are looking for a new place to eat.

Head over to Zomato.com, or download the Android version of the app and discover some absolutely excellent places to fulfill your near your locality.

Zomato And Google Drive For Android Get Major Updates

Zomato is one of the most popular restaurant listing guide services available in India, if not the most popular. The service has a listing of more than 42,000 restaurants across all the major cities in India and is among the most successful start ups from India. One key advantage Zomato has over its competitors is that it has a dedicated app for all the major mobile platforms – Android, iOS and WP7 platforms.

The Android version of the app is good enough to get the job done, but has a very ugly UI. Thankfully, Zomato has released a major update for the Android and iOS version of the apps with a completely revamped UI. The new UI of the app looks much more beautiful and makes navigation a breeze compared to before.

Zomato has also added the ability to the ability to sign up/in via Facebook or Google, allowing you to follow your friends, see their recommendations, reviews etc. The update is already live in the Play Store and can be downloaded for free. The iOS version of the app has also got a similar update with new UI and features.

In other app update related news, Google has just released a major update for the Google Drive app on Android and iOS. Below is the huge change-log of the Google Drive update for Android – :

1. Create folder, upload to folder and move to folder
2. Filter folder contents by file type
3. Option to auto-sync pinned content while on 3G
4. Richer Google Presentations viewing experience
5. Basic table support in Documents Editor
6. Create, reply and resolve comments in Documents Editor
7. View and change fonts in Documents Editor
8. Pinch to zoom in Documents Editor
9. Print files using Google Cloud Print
10. Option to resume interrupted uploads

 The iOS update also adds all the above features, along with the ability to edit documents and much more.

Things Turn Bitter as Burp Starts Stealing Restaurant Data from Zomato

Up until mid-2009, it was extremely difficult to look up restaurant information online, for Indian cities. From those early founding days of Fooodiebay to present times, Zomato has grown by leaps and bounds and the credit goes to their dedicated team. Today, almost everyone in India has searched for restaurants on Zomato at least once.


With a business like this, updated content sits at the heart of everything. The core asset of a company like Zomato is all the restaurant data they collect over time. However, the business requires this data to be made publicly available as information, and this is where things can get ugly.

It is extremely tantalizing for any competing business to reuse (read steal) a competitor’s data. Zomato is extremely disappointed at Burp for doing exactly so. Having a database of 18,000+ restaurants with nearly complete menu is not a matter of a day. It requires building from the ground up, and Zomato has worked day and night to make it happen. If you think this is an easy job and it ends here, let me tell you, the data is updated every three months.

In case there is any question about proof of this accusation, perhaps  Deepinder Goyal  from  Zomato has the best thing to say

Any local search company such as ours, most of the times has unique/proprietary data points being shown on the website. These data points are proprietary to the business in a manner of representation and/or collection and any malicious competitor activity can be easily tracked when these data points show up on their website.

Zomato was trying out a new business model in which they provided phone numbers for reservations. These phone numbers were from Zomato representatives, who reserved tables on behalf of the customer. Moreover, they also have a GPS tracking system of their own. Exact coordinates up to five digits of precision appeared on the burp listings.

Zomato has also tracked down an employee from Burp who is migrating content over from their website. Burp has sent passive replies like,

This was a user upload, we have nothing to do with this, and we will take down the listing. Thanks for keeping an eye on us. And please don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. We maintain 150,000 listings, so we don’t bother about copying your data at all. We don’t do such things.

It is time Burp kept its nose out of Zomato’s business and acted responsibly.

Following the blog post made by Zomato, Burp has written a reply on their own blog. This time, they have blamed Zomato of foul play and their defense points are interesting. We will see how the matter unfolds very soon.