Zomato – A Critical Feedback


Zomato is the Apple of the food world.

Zo-who? For those who don’t know, Zomato is the go-to place for discovering restaurants in 119 cities across 13 countries. (and counting…) In this post, I aim to give them what they asked for – a constructively critical feedback so that they can improve their product and provide a better overall user experience. So, let’s get to the point.

Improvements & Suggestions

I will mainly critique Zomato’s website since that’s what I am good at.

  1. Two Log in buttons are redundant. Use a single “Log in/Sign up” button.
  2. Make your website fully responsive (About, Culture, Team, Careers and Contact pages are not responsive).
  3. Add About & Contact buttons to the website header for a better central site navigation.
  4. Implement a map form of the Nearby feature – show a map on, let’s say zomato.com/nearby, which allows the user to set his/her current location and highlights (like a pin in Google Maps) nearby places to eat in the map itself and when the user clicks on the pin, it will show a small card about the restaurant containing things like contact info, type of cuisines offered, link to the Menu, directions from current location etc… (still in the map) and a button that says “More Details” that would open that place’s Zomato listing page.
  5. Give option to view the Menu images in Grid form.
  6. Make menus searchable, if possible. I have often wished to be able to search for a particular item in a restaurant’s menu. Though, that would require a lot of data entry for  converting all menus from image to text OR categorize menu images into sections like starters, main course, beverages etc… to make it easier and faster for users to navigate the menu.
  7. Members would love to be notified about what’s changing at their favourite places – allow users to be notified via email and on-site notifications when certain information about their favourite place changes – menu, timings, location etc…
  8. Allow users to format their review text – bold, italics, lists etc… to grab the reader’s attention to the key points.
  9. Add review categories (food, ambience, service, cost) to make reviews more helpful.
  10. If the user is viewing an outlet of a restaurant, display a short detail of all other outlets also on that page itself instead of redirecting the user to a separate page that lists all the outlets.
  11. The sitemap navigation is a mess. It needs a better structure.
  12. It takes some time to update the following list after integrating with Facebook. It took mine almost a day to update. This should be looked into.
    This happens on the Android app too. (check screenshots)
    Screenshot_2014-09-20-17-28-31 Screenshot_2014-09-20-17-28-42
  13. Once Facebook integration is done perfectly, introduce a similar Twitter integration as well. Properly integrating with the top 3 social media sites will certainly help in getting new users and keeping the current ones engaged.

A short note about Zomato’s Android app: Make the app accessible to everyone, even if they are not registered. This is the only thing that irked me a bit about the mobile app. Rest everything seems good for an occasional user like me.

Kudos for:

  1. Design: Zomato is the Apple of the food world. (Except that it’s free!)
    • Perfect use of images EVERYWHERE – cover photos of restaurants, images used for various Collections, images used in their social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.
  2. Truly out-of-the-box and captivating social media content.

    Zomato - Mousse
    This one being my recent favourite.
  3. Feature packed: introduction of Collections (who wants to search?), ability to create your own personal food diary, making wishlists, adding places to speed dial, the “been here” feature, giving and reading popular reviews.
  4. The ease with which they maintain an extensive database of places from 119 cities across the world.
  5. Individual restaurant listing pages allow the users to get a quick glance of the place in just a few seconds by providing all the relevant and necessary information (highlights – I find this very handy especially, cuisines, timings, location) in a simple and elegant manner and it’s easy to perform any desired action on the page because of a very well thought-out structure of the listing.

    • Easy to report discrepancies and provide feedback.
    • Find directions to new places from nearby public transportation
    • Showing related restaurants in the sidebar
  6. An awesome, ever-growing community of active, helpful and opinionated reviewers. (Because Zomato made sharing your passion for food on social media cool.)
  7. Simplified search engine. Almost as if Larry Page and Sergey Brin helped them.
  8. When I search for a place on Google, the top results are almost always Zomato’s. It gives me useful information (review rating, price for two) before I even go to their site. It’s these little things that give Zomato the X factor.
  9. Giving away things like iPhone 6 , iPhone 5S Gold and Galaxy S3 in return for the best feedback. It says a lot about how much they care about user feedback.