Zomato wants to no leave no part of the food experience untouched as it looks to consolidate its place as India’s premier food company.
After its restaurant listing services, and its food delivery arm, Zomato is now looking to enter the food events space. The company has launched something called Zomato Events, under which it will conduct Zomaland, a multi-city food carnival that will have street performances, pop-up restaurants and food exhibitions, among others. Zomaland will kick off early next year, and will be held across four cities. Zomato is partnering with 400 restaurants for the event, and the company says it expects to see 2 lakh footfalls during the course of the event.
Super excited to announce the arrival of India’s grandest food and entertainment carnival. ?
— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) November 29, 2018
“At Zomato, given our focus on food, we tend to think of ourselves as a food company, and not just a food-tech company. We fundamentally believe that that the restaurant channel, or the out-of-home food cooking theme will be dominant as well, and we are trying to grow that as much as we can,” Gaurav Gupta, chief operating officer at Zomato, told ET. “The idea behind doing this is that if there is a food experience that needs to be brought to the user, even if it’s an offline one, we should be the ones bringing it to the consumer. We want consumers to have a great experience with food offline as well.”
Zomaland looks to be yet another launch for which Zomato will use its decades-long relationships with restaurants to its advantage. Having worked closely with restaurants for years, Zomato in the past has been able to launch programs like Zomato Treats, which gave online customers a free dessert each time they ordered, and more prominently Zomato Gold, a loyalty program which gives members a flat 50% off when they dine at selected restaurants. Zomato seems to be using its clout with restaurants to launch Zomaland as well — there are few other companies in India which can get together 400 restaurants to launch their own food carnival.
Yet while Zomaland will likely find an audience, primarly because of the large userbase Zomato already has on its app, this will be one of those events that Zomato will find hard to scale and replicate. Offline events require leg-work each time they’re organized, and tech solutions can only help so much. But if Zomato can pull off a successful Zomaland next year, it might just have created another property for itself, and given itself yet another finger in India’s food market pie.