Urbanspoon

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo of Urbanspoon

Urbanspoon is a restaurant information and recommendation service founded in 2006 by former Jobster employees that is currently offering its services in North America and parts of English-speaking Australasia and Europe, with current ownership by Zomato, an Indian restaurant search and discovery service (as of January 2015). The Urbanspoon site and capabilities are evolving in response to the latest acquisition, where the stated intention of its new corporate owner is competition with Yelp and the phase-out of the Urbanspoon brand.

Services[edit]

Urbanspoon is a restaurant information and recommendation service operating in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[citation needed] It offers services via its website and standard apps for mobile operating systems.[citation needed][1] In its evolution from an initial and popular iPhone application,[2][3] UrbanSpoon adapted its appearance and capabilities, including to the Android market.[4] In these and other efforts to develop the product, the results were apps that were aware and competitive with alternative businesses Yelp and Where.[4]

Via its apps and webpage, Urbanspoon offers a restaurant search utility, with filtering by price, type of food, neighborhood, nearby businesses (movie theaters, sports venues, etc.), and special features (gluten-free fare, child-friendliness, BYOB-service, etc.).[citation needed] Users can then participate in the simple “like” or ”don’t like” rating system to review restaurants, and share restaurant information with friends via email, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest,[citation needed] and by photo pages.[clarification needed][citation needed] Users who create an account can track dining experiences (menu items, price of meal, and photos),[citation needed] and can create a "Wishlist" to save restaurants for future use and a "Guide" to share personal lists of dining favorites.[citation needed] In addition, the Urbanspoon app has featured a "Slot Machine," allowing users to "Spin" (or shake their device) to randomly see a new eating establishment based on neighborhood, cuisine, or price.[3]

Corporate overview[edit]

Urbanspoon was acquired from its former Jobster employees Ethan Lowry, Adam Doppelt, and Patrick O’Donnell by American media and internet business InterActiveCorp (IAC) in April of 2009.[5] It launched RezBook in 2011, an online reservation booking service for restaurants.[6] OpenTable purchased the RezBook venture and capabilities from Urbanspoon for an undisclosed sum in 2013.[7][3]

Urbanspoon was then acquired in an all-cash deal by Zomato, an Indian restaurant search and discovery service, in January 2015.[8] Its location has been based since its inception in Seattle, Washington, where the company was founded.[citation needed]

Business intentions[edit]

Urbanspoon offered Zomato an annual user base estimated to be approximately 31 million in early 2015 based on app downloads, and a directory of >1 million restaurants; Zomato's intention, based on information from its CEO, Deepinder Goyal, as reported by John Cook of GeekWire, is to give the company "a nice footprint" as it expands in preparation to "battle industry heavyweight Yelp."[3] Zomato reportedly will integrate the Urbanspoon app and Web site over the next few months [of early 2015], "meaning the Urbanspoon brand will be phased out."[3] Goyal has further stated, as reported by The Seattle Times, that a result of the acquisition will likely be a downsizing of Urbanspoon in Seattle (by ≈10% of its employees), and "phase out its popular restaurant-finding app."[2] Goyal has acknowledged that Urbanspoon is a valuable brand and that Zomato will lose brand equity in the short-term, but that uniformity of product is an aim, and that "to manage two brands within the same company" would be "harder for us [Zomato] in the longer term.”[2]

Further reading[edit]

  • Catherine Shu, 2015, "Restaurant Discovery Site Zomato Buys IAC’s Urbanspoon, Enters The U.S.," at TechCrunch (online), January 12, 2015, see [1], accessed 23 May 2015.
  • John Cook, 2015, "Zomato confirms acquisition of Urbanspoon, plans to phase out brand as it looks to pick fight with Yelp," GeekWire (online), January 12, 2015, see [2], accessed 23 May 2015.
  • Brier Dudley, 2015, "Business/Technology: Urbanspoon app shutting down after Zomato takeover," The Seattle Times (online), January 13, 2015, see [3], accessed 23 May 2015.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Catherine Shu, 2015, "Windows Phone 8 gets Pandora Radio, Cut the Rope, Urbanspoon and more (Update: Full List)," at Engadget (online), October 10, 2012, see [4], accessed 23 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Brier Dudley, 2015, "Business/Technology: Urbanspoon app shutting down after Zomato takeover," The Seattle Times (online), January 13, 2015, see [5], accessed 23 May 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e John Cook, 2015, "Zomato confirms acquisition of Urbanspoon, plans to phase out brand as it looks to pick fight with Yelp," GeekWire (online), January 12, 2015, see [6], accessed 23 May 2015. Goyal is reported to have said: “'The biggest challenge and most fun part of this move, however, is the fight we’re going to be picking with Yelp, … [i]n the market they have dominated for so long. After all, like Mark Twain famously said, it isn’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
  4. ^ a b Quentyn Kennemer, 2011, "Urbanspoon Ditches the iOS Look in Latest Upgrade," PHANDROID (online), February 10, 2011, see [7] accessed 23 May 2105
  5. ^ M.G. Siegler, 2009, "IAC Buys UrbanSpoon Based On Good Recommendations," at TechCrunch (online), April 29, 2009, see [8], accessed 23 May 2015.
  6. ^ Anon., 2011, "Rezbook Review: New Opentable Competitor," at Gourmet Marketing (online), January 17, 2011, see [9], accessed 23 May 2015.
  7. ^ Betty Hallock, 2009, "OpenTable buys Urbanspoon's Rezbook; chefs consider options," at Los Angeles Times (online), July 31, 2013, see [10], accessed 23 May 2015.
  8. ^ Catherine Shu, 2015, "Restaurant Discovery Site Zomato Buys IAC’s Urbanspoon, Enters The U.S.," at TechCrunch (online), January 12, 2015, see [11], accessed 23 May 2015.

External links[edit]