‘Truly breaks my heart’: Zomato Philippines’ closure disheartens food-loving Pinoys 

February 3, 2023 - 10:41 AM
Screengrab from a video uploaded on Zomato Philippines' Facebook page on July 18, 2020 (Screengrab by Interaksyon from ZomatoPhilippines/Facebook) 

Foodies and other Pinoys were disheartened after a popular restaurant and menu aggregator quietly shut down its operations in the country after ten years.

Reports said that as of Thursday, Zomato Philippines‘ website has displayed a notice which reads:

Goodbye Philippines!

It has been a great run but we have, sadly, stopped our operations here! You can still explore dine-in restaurants and order amazing food on Zomato in India and UAE (United Arab Emirates)!”

Screengrab of Zomato Philippines’ website by Interaksyon as of Feb. 3, 2023

The closure came after Zomato ended its Zomato Pro, formerly Zomato Gold, subscription in November 2020.

The loyalty program offers extra discounts on food orders and removes delivery charges.

The Indian multinational restaurant aggregator acts as an online food database for people who like to “explore top restaurants, menus, and view or post photos and food reviews.”

It empowers the app users to discover new tastes and experiences across different places which enables them to make informed choices when it comes to gastronomic delights and adventure.

Zomato’s closure saddened Pinoys who are known to treat eating as a main social affair.

“Aww. I use Zomato to check reviews about restaurants. Would have been great if they merged with Grab delivery,” Sen. Win Gatchalian tweeted after learning of the closure.

“This truly breaks my heart. I use Zomato a lot when researching restaurants, especially menus,” another Pinoy on Twitter wrote.

“Huy, reliable nito sa reviews at prices huhu, dito ako tumitingin ng presyo ng samgyup nung first time namin,” said a different online user.

“ZOMATO (persevering face emoji) Grabe, kayo po ang sandigan ko sa mga bagong restaurants/pub (including their menus) per area and kung hanggang anong oras sila bukas (confounded face emoji) The end of an era. THANK YOU, @zomato Philippines!!” another Twitter user said.

Blogger Danica Airelle Marasigan, a foodie who runs the “Diamond in the Rough” blog, also shared how Zomato has been “very helpful” to her “in navigating the restaurant’s menu, prices, and other offerings.”

“So where do we go now? I hope the restaurants will at least boost their presence [on] websites, or other social media platforms to update consumers [on] their relevant information,” she wrote.

“I may not be an active Zomato reviewer, but I personally find this app useful when dining. Also, it paved opportunities for other fellow bloggers in FMUs (foodie meet ups) — creating connections and [whatnot]. Bye #Zomato!” Marasigan added.

Zomato launched in the Philippines in 2013, its first Southeast Asian market.

The platform enables diners to “search and discover restaurants, read and write customer-generated reviews and view and upload photos, order food delivery, book a table and make payments while dining out at restaurants.”

It also provides restaurant partners with “industry-specific marketing tools which enable them to engage and acquire customers to grow their business while also providing a reliable and efficient last-mile delivery service.”