In this article, we intend to explore how Customer Relationship Management (CRM) works in the field of online food ordering and delivery. For this purpose, we have chosen to take into consideration the Zomato business growth. Mapping of the company’s journey will give us some valuable insights into how restaurants and food aggregators use CRM to give their customers the best possible experience.
At present, Zomato is among the world’s largest food ordering & delivery aggregators in the world. Founded in 2008 by Pankaj Chaddah and Deepinder Goyal as a service that scanned and put the menus of various restaurants online, the company has grown & evolved rapidly over the past decade. Restaurants & fast food kitchens from all over India have listed their menus and rely highly on this aggregator to generate lucrative revenue. From a small company in Delhi, it has presence in 10,000 cities spread across 24 countries across the globe!
Zomato diversified its business into online food ordering and delivery in Delhi-NCR in May 2015. In the same year, it made its food delivery services available in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Pune. As of 2019, Zomato offers these services in more than 500 cities across the country.
Some unique attributes of Zomato’s business model:
- Zomato introduced the concept of online restaurant discovery to the world, hence it had the first mover advantage, which enabled the company to quickly make a name for itself, as customers are always in search of something new.
- During the initial stages of launching their business, the founders focused less on making money. Instead, they focused on building an effective website and increasing their user base. Once the website took off, they realized its true potential.
- The rapid growth witnessed by Zomato encouraged many restaurants to place paid advertisements on the platform, which let to tremendous revenue generation.
- Zomato was quick to offer customers the option of cashless transactions.
- The founders of Zomato attribute their exponential growth to the fact that they have been lucky to find the right workforce, which played a pivotal role in the company’s success. However, they admit having struggled with finding the right people in the initial few years.
- The Zomato app created a platform for restaurants to expand their reach & presence without incurring any fixed costs.
- At present, Zomato has various revenue channels, which include advertising & listing services for restaurants, subscription programs for customers, food deliver, live events, Zomato kitchens, Zomato Gold, and live events. The company continues to explore new business endeavors and new opportunities to offer something new & exciting to its customers.Unique CRM strategies by Zomato for end customers as well as restaurants & food chains:
This is a paid service offered by Zomato. Subscribers of Zomato Gold are entitled to receive complementary drinks and food in select partner restaurants. However, Zomato Gold is applicable only to dine-in orders and not for deliveries.
Zomato Kitchens is a service offered by Zomato to certain restaurants/kitchens that do not have a dine-in facility. The company claims that this service enables these restaurants to expand their brand with a low investment, an ROI of over 80% with break-even of less than one year. Moreover, restaurants benefit from a complete infrastructure with all licences and operational establishment. In addition, it offers customers access to a larger number of restaurants that offer a variety of cuisine of their choice, which are located in a reasonable proximity from their homes and offices.
This is a very powerful CRM as well as operations management tool for restaurants. It offers restaurants by offering the following features:
Enables restaurants to gain actionable & analytical insights on the basis of operational as well as customer metrics.
Offer personalized incentives to customers with the help of their profiles and transaction history.
3. Smart Table Management
The availability of real-time information pertaining to the order status of specific tables, thus making it easier to manage tables and avoiding human errors.
4. Reservation Management
The management of table reservations in real time from a single device based on the availability of tables, utilization rates, and status tracking.
5. Online Reservation Management
This system enables customers to book tables directly from the restaurant’s website as well as the Zomato website, and any other online channels.
6. Staff Management
Zomato Book enables restaurants to keep track on employee efficiency based on table turnaround times, occupancy rates, etc.
Benefits offered by Zomato Book
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Efficient gathering & storage of customer data enables restaurants to determine the preferences of customers based on their order history. This, in turn, enables them to design customized experiences/offers for them.
2. Business Intelligence
With the help of Zomato Book, restaurants can gain actionable insights into their operations as well as customer metrics, based on which they can plan their way forward in a better manner.
3. Improves the Efficiency of Service
It helps restaurants reduce table turnaround time by assessing the efficiency of the staff. This helps restaurants plan their human resources more efficiently.
4. Optimization of Table Occupancy
Ensuring the occupancy of the maximum number of tables with utmost efficiency based on the availability of real-time data about the availability of tables and status tracking.
5. Multi-Channel Reservations
This enables customers to book tables from a variety of online channels, which include the Zomato website as well as the restaurant’s website.
According to an article published on Livemint, Zomato said that its revenue for the first half of financial year FY 2019-2020 (H1FY20) touched $205 million, up from $55 million reported in the same period last year. This growth was driven by an increase in order volumes on its delivery business, according to the company’s half-yearly report.
We can see in this case study of the Zomato business plan that the secret behind the growth of the company is its focus on innovative strategies for its B2B customers (restaurants & food chains) as well as B2C (patrons of restaurants & food delivery).
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