Much like people from other nations, Filipinos love to eat. ♡ The problem strikes when one does not know how to prepare and cook food to eat. Well, this is not necessarily a problem because unless this person lives alone, there may be people in the same house who are responsible and able to make food. Otherwise, the last resort is to buy food or dine out in restaurants. The next problem, which is pretty common, if I may add, is not knowing where to eat. In this article, let’s explore how Zomato can help consumers in choosing a restaurant to eat at.
If you’re living in Metro Manila like me, turn your head around your vicinity and immediately you will see carenderias or “hawkers” and bigger restaurants which offer different menus and food specialties. Hence I think the difficulty is not having none to go to but having too many choices to choose from. Yes?
How Foodies Help Solve the “Choosing Restaurant” Dilemma
One of the reasons why I started blogging my experience and reviewing the restaurants and food I’ve tried is to share information and help readers make dine-out decisions.
As much as I can, I use words very descriptive in nature to make them feel as if they’re there. Of course, pictures aid for visual understanding as well but the core is in the textual content, as I use only iPhone camera to shoot food photos. 😀 If you think these photos are fine, please refer to this post which discusses tips on how to take better photos using smartphone cams. I also provide a food rating system to guide readers and inform them about my standards.
There are many other foodies like me who sharpen their online pens and write their food and restaurants reviews in their own blogs. But wouldn’t it be more comfortable and convenient for online visitors to judge a restaurant by reading different reviews in one channel and in one page?
Food Review Applications
I bet you are already familiar with sites like MunchPunch, Spot.ph, and OpenRice that are seen nowadays as menu search engines for food establishments and must-try dishes guide from appetizers, snacks and main courses to drinks and desserts. There are also location apps such as FoodSpotting and FourSquare which give users (next customers) valuable gems of info about the place instantly. Yup, they make our lives easier!
In Metro Manila, a new addition to this bunch is Zomato.
What About Zomato?
Originating from India, Zomato has been live in Metro Manila, Philippines for four months now. The site features restaurant locations, operating hours, menu, photos, prices of food, contact numbers and restaurant reviews contributed by users. It has a Network feature which lets users follow and be followed by other users. Once you follow User A, for instance, you will receive notifications on User A’s latest activities — favorited restaurants, new ratings and reviews. This gives a thoroughly social experience and the opportunity to foster relationships with a community while savoring delectable cuisines.
Zomato enables users to search restaurants by those who allow deliveries, dine-out and the type for nightlife. It also enables users to search by address, price, type of cuisine, type of restaurant and more ways that essentially lead to tasty chows! Below the homepage is where it lists the top trending restaurants of the week, and top the contributors of the past three months and of all time (leader board). Check it out to see what I mean.
Zomato can be used and be viewed using any web browser and its mobile app. The mobile version is compatible to be installed (for free) in Windows Phone, Blackberry, iPhone and any smartphone that runs in Android and Windows 8.
Rochkirstin on Zomato
I have signed up on Zomato three weeks ago, and I’m happy to become a “Super Foodie” quickly, after garnering 30 followers and writing 30 reviews. 😀
Also, I am honored to have Zomato feature many of my reviews so far on its homepage for Metro Manila week by week. 😛 These featured contributions turn into instant entries eligible for the weekly “Write for a Bite Contest,” where Zomato rewards the week’s best restaurant reviews with meal vouchers. I got my prize on my second week of writing. It’s a PHp 500 worth of meal voucher at Carol’s Texan 5. YAY! 😀
I took a picture holding the voucher and posted it as my profile photo on Zomato. Shortly after, I was invited to meet with their Country Manager and Operations Manager over a dinner. Another yay on this one. ^_^
Zomato is easy to use, and its interface is simple, straightforward and uncluttered. It solves the problem of finding nearby restaurants. Reviews of other people are just an added bonus. There are no fees to explore the website or the mobile app. It is capable of social sharing to share a review to Facebook or Twitter.
On the other side, another good thing is that owners of restaurants can also benefit as they can now easily read the write-ups and find out whether or not they received a stamp of approval from their dining customers (socially active ones, at least).
Expect new and improved features on July 10, 2013 as Zomato celebrates its fifth year. On the same day, it will be open to more cities of countries where it’s currently available: Indian, UAE, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Qatar, South Africa. So I greet them an advanced congratulations now.
Kudos to the team! I’m excited to see those updates. 😀