Online restaurant guide Zomato has rolled out a new social layer which gives users personalised tips from food buddies on where to get the best grub.
The New Delhi-based company launched its website in New Zealand in July last year, and has so far compiled menu information and reviews for 6,030 hospitality businesses in Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton.
Zomato's revamped website and mobile app builds on two ideas - that individual preferences vary, and that building a trusted system will result in easier decision-making, says founder and chief executive of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal.
"Even before the advent of the internet, people relied on social opinions for restaurant discovery. In our endless discussions with our users, we realised this behaviour is still widely prevalent, but not catered to effectively by existing local discovery tools or review websites," he said.
To enable personalised experience, Zomato will now be a login-only service. Users are encouraged to sign up via their Facebook or Google+ accounts where activity can be posted to friends.
"We want you to learn about food from your friends and to build a community," New Zealand country manager Sahil Ludhani said.
He says the new app gives kiwi food lovers bespoke restaurant recommendations as well as a 'FoodFeed,' which works like your Facebook news feed - letting users see updates and activities from their network on Zomato, as well as restaurants visited, rated and reviewed.
Screen grabs of the revamped Zomato mobile restaurant guide app
"Say I search for restaurants in the Auckland CBD, it brings up all the places nearby. If i then click on recommendations, it shows me the places that people I am following recommend - I trust their reviews and I like to know where they go. So now I have a list of places that have been suggested by my friends which should make my decision easier," he said.
Contemporary bistro Ortolana in central Auckland's Tyler Street has a 'very good' 3.7 rating on Zomato based on 26 reviews
The Zomato app is available for download on Android and iOS. To check out the Zomato restaurant guide website click here.