A recent study posted on Zomato showed that 86% of respondents prefer to dine at a restaurant which had transparent food hygiene standards. It also added that if they had a choice, 93% would prefer a restaurant that is clean and hygienic, rather than another which serves great food but had poor hygienic practices.
The latest feature to come out of social media is a bold idea and a game changer. As a new feature, Zomato is now putting up food hygiene ratings for restaurants. The feature will start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia, and rolled out to the rest of the world in due time. It will start out with more ratings for 1,000 UAE restaurants and another 3,000 Australian restaurants.
Social media is no stranger to food-related posts, and eventually led to various sites showcasing either a photo or video of a person’s meal, or a tag or pin indicating that person was present in a specific restaurant. Other websites like Zomato allow people to comment, letting users act like food critics or food snobs. In some cases, people would even exact some sort of “food revenge” instead of actually leaving proper critique to the service or food.
Zomato Feature in UAE and Australia
As a matter of practice, government agencies which hold safety and cleanliness inspections do not divulge their findings. Usually, the only way diners would know that a restaurant did not pass was if the restaurant closed with a sign at the entrance saying that it has been padlocked by the health inspection board.
On the Zomato website and app, diners usually can give a comment regarding the food, service, cleanliness, and ambience. However, the cleanliness rating was subjective, and does not have a standard for judging. Diners also usually gloss over their comments. Ultimately, these comments are only used as guides by other diners in choosing if they would have their meals there or not. The worst comments about a restaurant’s hygiene is not a separate document; rather, it is used to compute the overall score or rating for the restaurant.
Foodpanda, a Germany-based global mobile food delivery service, earlier rolled out a similar feature on their site. The Food Doctor Program started in 2016, where it rated for hygiene and quality standards for establishments listed on the platform. It uses unannounced audits and cold calls.
Study Results: Diners Want to Know if a Place is Clean
A recent study posted on Zomato showed that 86% of respondents prefer to dine at a restaurant which had transparent food hygiene standards. It also added that if they had a choice, 93% would prefer a restaurant that is clean and hygienic, rather than another which serves great food but had poor hygienic practices. Foodpanda had the same conclusions when it surveyed its users, revealing that 65% of their respondents put more weight on good quality standards.
Zomato can conduct the inspection, but only when the participating restaurant is part of their network. The website itself does not have any official or public authority to do any inspections.
The food hygiene rating will add a new layer on top of the regular food and service ratings. Restaurant inspections would also be an immense public service when restaurants. The rating itself can be displayed on the page, and the overall grade for cleanliness can include ratings from users. This new innovation is expected create a bold impact in the restaurant and food industry and its consumers.