Zomato, a restaurant discovery service based in India, has acquired the restaurant recommendation site Urbanspoon. It’s the first foray into the U.S. market for Zomato, which has been looking to eat up restaurant-related services across the globe. Despite Urbanspoon’s strong brand following — partially thanks to a prominent feature in a 2008 Apple ad campaign — the site’s listings will be absorbed into the Zomato platform.
Zomato will now compete with popular sites like Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Google.
While Yelp and similar sites largely rely on user-submitted information, Zomato also hires individuals tasked with listing upkeep, claiming it improves the accuracy and usefulness of the business information.
Restaurant owners active on Urbanspoon should expect a significant redesign of the site as it is integrated into Zomato’s system. It’s imperative to monitor your account throughout the transition, as requirements for ownership verification may change. There will also be new features rolled out, potentially including access to their owners-only “Zomato for Business” app, that may help you reach more prospective customers and provide better service to existing customers.
Zomato is expected to phase out the Urbanspoon app, with its patented “shake” interface, by the end of March. Current app users should expect to receive a suggestion to switch over to the Zomato app at that time.