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Updated: Zomato Adds An Events Section; Time To Get Into Online Bookings?

Update: Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal informs that the company is working on an e-commerce section, which it intends to roll out before the end of this year.

Online restaurant guide, Zomato has introduced an Events section for the Delhi/NCR region. For starters it claims to list over 250 upcoming events under various categories such as arts & literature, music & dance, food & drink, entertainment, nightlife, talks & workshops, fashion and others. Users can discover events happening in the city by date, category and keywords, and view event details, location & timings, pictures and also view similar events and restaurants near by, along with the event listing. The Events home page lists recommended events, popular events and the week’s events agenda, which lists out selected events for each day of the week. It intends to extend the events section to Mumbai and Bangalore, shortly.

The company says that the move is inline with its rebranding strategy, repositioning Zomato as a lifestyle brand from being a food-focussed brand, Foodiebay.

Our Take

By introducing an events section, Zomato is now competing with the likes of BuzzInTown and Burrp. While these sites also allow users to add events, as well as buy events tickets online, Zomato is a bit cautious in its approach and curates events on its own, even though it does accept requests to feature events, via e-mail. It does not have an e-commerce engine integrated with the site to offer tickets or restaurant bookings.

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We feel that Zomato has one of the best user interfaces, compared to other sites that have similar offerings. Along with the website, it also offers native apps for all major smartphone platforms and a mobile web version.

Sites like JustEat and Bookurtable are already offering restaurant bookings and online orders. It’s a pity that Zomato – which claims to have listings for over 18,000 restaurants across 10 Indian cities and more than 10 Lakh monthly users – is hesitant to introduce e-commerce.

However, we do like the fact that Zomato has been really vocal when it comes to talking about things like why it does not want to introduce an online food delivery service or why it’s going slow on restaurant group deals, although it has not dismissed them entirely and has said that “it will wait until it finds a sourcing and distribution model which will keep the unit economics low and provide long term sustainable value to customers as well as businesses.”

If nothing else, it should consider a tie-up with either JustEat or Bookurtable to close that loop for customers.

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