Beginning as Foodiebay in 2008, a platform for restaurant listings and discovery, home-grown company Zomato has spread its reach to 24 different countries by 2019. Zomato has pushed the imagined boundaries of what the food-tech industry can be.
"At Zomato what sets us apart is that we are a one stop for everything - discovering places, looking up restaurant information, ordering food, booking tables - with more coming up", says Deepinder Goyal, the CEO of Zomato.
Zomato celebrated the completion of its 11 years on 10 July, 2019 by conducting a food drive and sharing a meal with the underserved. More than 100,000 meals were distributed across 11 countries.
In a blog post, Zomato stated,
“No money was spent to buy these meals, instead all the food was pitched in by Feeding India’s and Zomato’s restaurant, caterer and other partners who feel equally strongly about the cause.”
Looking back at the major initiatives taken by Zomato to solve the biggest problems in the food delivery ecosystem, one finds that Zomato has a very solution-oriented approach. There are four parameters for assessing a restaurant – quality, accessibility, affordability and assortment.
To target the quality of food delivered to its customers, the company introduced the Hyperpure initiative. Hyperpure connects responsible local farmers with responsible restaurateurs, without the usual middlemen to ensure that the ingredients in the food being served are adulterant free.
Acquisitions for better business
Zomato strategically expanded its market into other countries by acquiring multiple restaurant search services abroad, like Cibando in Italy, Urbanspoon in parts of North America, Gastronauci in Poland among others.
Runnr, a hyperlocal logistics service was acquired by Zomato in the year 2017. It was done with an expectation to strengthen Zomato’s food delivery capacity. Runnr would remain an independent logistics company offering all of its logistical services to players other than Zomato as well, like pharma, grocery, ecommerce among others.
The company entered the food at work-place business by acquiring TongueStun, a Bengaluru-based online caterer and office canteen aggregator in 2018. Since this market has customers coming back to it repeatedly and they even end up placing more than 20 orders a month, according to a Zomato spokesperson, the acquisition will be incredibly helpful for Zomato to expand its user base.
Zomato acquired Lucknow-based aerospace company TechEagle a few months back. This was Zomato’s entry into the drone based food delivery service. It was a clever move keeping the inconvenience and delay caused by traffic and bad roads in mind.
Out of the Box Initiatives
Zomato had introduced Zomato Gold, a paid service that allows customers with Gold membership to get complimentary food and drinks while ordering from partner restaurants and bars. The service allows 1+1 on food orders and 2+2 on drinks. This was an attractive way of retaining customers too.
The company also started its cloud kitchen initiative and later on partnered with Loyal Hospitality for the same. In a cloud kitchen concept, operators prepare, package and deliver food without providing any dine-in facility to end-consumers.
The little initiatives from the company to better the user experience have also helped Zomato. It had launched a ‘sneakpeek’ section in its app which offers videos of restaurants and eateries, their ambiance and food for the customers to make a more informed choice.
As an exciting addition, Zomato started Zomaland. It is a carnival featuring top chefs and eateries from across India, fun rides, and performances from well-known musicians. The company said the festival will also feature games, photo booths, street performances, and an area for children to have fun.
Quick to deal with little slips and mishaps, Zomato introduced tamper proof packaging after a Zomato delivery executive was seen eating from a customer’s package.
Not to forget the mic-drop worthy Infinity Dining program, Zomato has rocked the food tech industry.
As a bonus from Zomato, you can always treat yourself to some food porn on zomato.xxx. The webpage treats you with drool-worthy pictures of food liked by the users of Zomato’s services.