interview:
'Globally, over 4500 restaurants advertise on Zomato, who have seen a marked, measurable growth in their business'
08 Dec 2014

1. While Zomato is a great place for end consumers, how is it helping restaurateurs?

Zomato is a highly targeted platform that connects restaurants with its existing and potential customer base. Every step of the way we work towards improving the consumer reach for merchants. While having a Facebook or Twitter account is good, Zomato is where people go to look for places when they’re hungry. Quite simply, Zomato adds value to users and restaurant owners alike - users have access to in-depth restaurant information and the restaurant owners have access to a highly filtered and targeted pool of potential customers. 

While listing a restaurant on Zomato is absolutely free; with our hyperlocal advertising model, businesses have the option of displaying ads to hungry consumers looking for dining options in a specific area. Globally, over 4500 restaurants advertise on Zomato, who have seen a marked, measurable growth in their business.  Zomato for Business allows restaurants to get more out of their business with services that aims to simplify their daily operations. Restaurant owners will be able to connect and engage with their customers by being able to reply to their reviews within seconds. This also allows restaurateurs to upload in-line snippets and image tiles of their promotions directly, post discounts, specials or freebies, and special menus on their restaurant page, helping them keep their content relevant and updated. With Zomato for Business, Zomato aims to bridge the gap between customers and restaurant owners. 

2. How serious has the HORECA community been about Zomato? Are they slowly waking up to the opportunity that Zomato provides in building a good business?

Definitely, the restaurant community is coming to understand the targeted reach a utility app and website like Zomato provides in building a great business. The world’s moving online and more so mobile, and mobile app usage is growing every single day. With eating out having become a popular recreational option for people across the world, just like shopping or watching a movie, restaurant owners have become aware of the number of people that use a restaurant discovery service like ours. Today, with 30 million plus monthly visits Zomato has truly become a crowd puller. The user base loves the service as it makes their lives simpler. It, quite simply, brings increased exposure and customers to restaurants listed and advertising on Zomato. 

3. Review sites can have both-good and bad- effect on the business. What are the things that a restaurant owner can do/does on review sites like Zomato to help maintain a good reputation online?

The modern customer and businesses rely on the internet to find products and services they need. One of the simplest and most important things restaurant owners can do is keep their listing up to date. Customers appreciate updated information, especially all the new promotions, discounts and specials on offer. This is what makes deciding where to eat easy for users. Engaging customers online with a simple thank you in response to a review also goes a long way in building a good online reputation. A customer will always keep that cafe/restaurant/ bar in mind the next time he/ she decides to venture out. 

4. In case of a negative feedback, what are the options available to restaurant owners? Can he/she deal with the reviewer privately or has to go public, in case they want to respond?

When a restaurant receives negative feedback for their food, service or ambience, taking the feedback professionally is crucial, no matter how authentic or absurd they feel the review is. Zomato provides all restaurants the opportunity to reply publicly and tell their side of the story. A frustrated customer taking time to share what went wrong in their experience is actually a great gift to restaurant management. Restaurants who respond kindly to critical feedback and use it as an opportunity to improve are the restaurants who continue to receive the information they need to wow customers. Whether or not that particular reviewer is forgiving, a thoughtful response sends the message of concern to the entire community.  

5. What are your criteria for delisting a particular property?

We delist restaurants from Zomato when they no longer fall into our listing guidelines. For example, if a restaurant shifts into catering only and they require a few days notice to place an order, we would remove the listing. Also, if a restaurant shuts down, we mark it as closed, so that users don’t think we’ve just skipped over listing it.