Online food-review website shuffle as Zomato supersedes Urbanspoon

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 4th June 2015
The world of online food reviewing changed for Australians this week.
The world of online food reviewing changed for Australians this week.

The world of online food reviewing changed for Australians this week.

Earlier in January this year, popular food review website, Urbanspoon, announced that Indian competitor, Zomato, had acquired the company for US$52 million.

From Monday this week, Urbanspoon is no longer, and all its pre-existing users have been migrated over to Zomato. When users go to log onto Urbanspoon they are instead greeted with the Zomato logo and a message informing them of the change.

What has changed for Urbanspoon users?

Website (and smartphone app) users now get to experience a platform which is a mixture of the old Urbanspoon and Zomato. Features include menus, pictures, directions and weekly roundups such as ‘trending this week’, ‘best burgers’ and ‘paleo hot spots’.

The new site also includes leaderboards which track the highest contributors. They have moved more towards a Facebook feel too, deciding to have news feeds and timelines.

Currently Zomato only offers information for 25 000 restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne. The social media platform says it will be updating to include Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth in the near future. Zomato also claims it will be refreshing the site every 90 days with new restaurants and information.

One thing the app and website will no longer allow old Urbanspoon users do is say they either like or dislike a particular eating spot. Reviewers will now have to give cafes and restaurants a rating out of five.

Background on Zomato

Zomato began as a start-up company in New Delhi in 2008. The company was founded by Deepinder Goyal who still remains as Zomato’s CEO today.

The acquisition of Urbanspoon will not only give Zomato a presence in Australia but is also a springboard to the USA, where Urbanspoon originated.

Zomato has been active in numerous countries outside of India and Australia since 2012 including the UK, South Africa, New Zealand and Dubai.

The directors of Zomato have indicated their desire to get into deliveries. The delivery space is currently dominated in Australia by companies like Menulog. Zomato also hopes to allow users to make cashless payments through its platform at restaurants and cafes.

Zomato says that its entry into Australia will create 800 jobs over the next eight months.