Indian digital media company Zomato acquired US-based Urbanspoon in January 2015. Six months later, Urbanspoon was gone for good and its traffic diverted to Zomato—coinciding with the end of home-grown restaurant review competitor Eatability.
In the 12 months to March 2016, 1,046,000 Australians 14+ (5.3%) visited the Zomato website in an average four week period.
Visitation to Zomato is highest in Melbourne (8.9%), Canberra (7.8%) and Perth (7.5%). Brisbane’s appetite is spot-on average (5.3%), just ahead of Adelaide’s (5.0%). But just 1 in 25 Sydneysiders (4.0%) visit Zomato, the lowest rate of all mainland capitals.
Outside these cities, 3.5% visit the website in an average four weeks, representing just under a quarter of its total audience.
Michele Levine, CEO – Roy Morgan Research, says:
“Melburnians have taken to Zomato, and make up a third of the website’s total audience of over a million Australians a month. Among mainland capitals, Zomato is least popular in Sydney.
“It might be tempting to assume that Melbourne is simply much more of a foodie town, with locals more interested in restaurant reviews. However almost two in three Sydneysiders (65%) discuss restaurants, by giving or getting advice to family and friends about where to eat. This is only marginally less than the 68% of Melburnians who discuss restaurants. And in Sydney, almost 1 in 8 consider themselves restaurant ‘early adopters’ who are among the first to dine out at the latest eateries—actually even higher than the 1 in 10 Melburnians.
“So if Sydney and Melbourne share a similar level of interest in restaurants, why the gap in Zomato’s popularity? Australian restaurant review website Eatability—launched in 2003 and bought by Optus in 2012—closed in June last year, around the same time that Zomato had fully dissolved and replaced its acquisition Urbanspoon.
“Zomato should take note that Eatability was consistently around three times more popular in Sydney than in Melbourne, even as its audience halved from a peak of over 500,000 monthly visitors in 2012 down to around 200,000 during its final year. Clearly, Eatability had offered something that Sydney wanted.
“If the new player wants to increase its footing in the Sydney market, it might need to examine those who’ve come before, and learn more about the differences between Melbourne’s and Sydney’s foodies.”