I am obsessed with food and I’m not afraid to admit it. For example, out of my last twelveposts on Instagram, only four of the photos don’t include food in them. If you make your way to Urbanspoon you can find millions of users giving reviews to local restaurants (and posting tons of food pictures) in six different countries. You can find sections on the “Talk of the Town”, and on the most popular restaurants. Users can read from a combination of critic reviews, blogger reviews and user reviews.
Recently Zomato, based out of India, acquired Urbanspoon for $50 million dollars US. Why? Urbanspoon is in six different countries and has a stronghold in North America. Urbanspoon is a top rated app on iTunes, with over 20 million mobile subscribers in total. But this will not just be an acquisition where the site continues to run as is; the company intends on slowly phasing out Urbanspoon. This is a great move for Zomato as they try to get into North America. Their current strong markets are India, of course, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and Indonesia.
So naturally since my favorite go-to site is going to disappear forever I had to check out Zomato’s site. I will tell my future children that I come from an era before Zomato moved into North America, and of the life in which Urbanspoon was my best friend, and when I was told Pluto was a planet , then not a planet, then a planet again, but I digress… Zomato’s site is clean and to the point. The site has a more categories on its landing page for someone looking for a recommendation without the extra searching than Urbanspoon does. The actual restaurant page layout seems pretty similar across the board, the map, address, information, photos, and reviews. What I struggled to find however, is something separating the reviews by users, bloggers, and critics. I know that here in North America food bloggers have a huge following and a lot of them use Urbanspoon as a way of integrating their posts online. It will be really interesting to see how this move will effect bloggers and how they will respond to this takeover.
Overall it will be interesting to see how I like Zomato as it moves into the Vancouver restaurant scene. I am cautious, but excited, to see how this will make me spend even more time searching through food pictures when I’m hungry.