Wondering where to eat?

Posted on April 7, 2008. Filed under: Comparison, Indian Startups | Tags: , , |

Tired of your usual restaurant? Want to try out new/better restaurants for your next lunch? Lets see how our Indian startups can help you with this. The startups in focus this time are Burrp and NeedGrub.

Startups focusing on Restaurant reviews (Image of me and Sreeram happily enjoying our dosa in London)

While Burrp has been around for a number of years in this domain, NeedGrub is the new entrant. (Related Read : iBurrp – Burrp for iPhone by desistartups). This gives Burrp a good advantage as far as the UI, Reviews, City coverage is concerned.

Ignoring these parameters, lets try to analyze other features found in these two sites.

Map at last!

I am one of those guys who definitely need a map. Although, both Google and Yahoo maps for India are not accurate, still it would help someone like me to plan my travel. (One of the reason I liked SadakMap). Very happy that NeedGrub has started straight with the maps feature, where as Burrp has strangely ignored this functionality till this time!

No Popups please!

NeedGrub keeps on showing a popup asking me to register. To make matters worse, this window is resembling Windows XP UI. This is something that would annoy a person like me. Can Anu and her team think about this?

Send2Phone, Send2Friends, Add to List …

Burrp clearly has the time to market advantage and hence more features than NeedGrub. Lot of catching up needed from the latter. It will be interesting to see what path they take.

Some of my thoughts

  • When I was with a services company, we used to have a list of restaurants which offers discount – either for my company name or for the credit card or group discount blah blah blah. We used to keep on going to the restaurants in that list. This is something completely missing in both these sites.
  • Typical services company don’t offer Internet(s). So how about other ways of getting restaurant list – sms, mobile search, email?
  • Restaurants near my place is a very important feature. A number of times, me and my friends have called Justdial, to find out some good restaurants near our office. Strangely, none of the websites have matured enough as far as this is concerned.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising or Partnering with a major player: You should try and spread the name somehow. Otherwise, you are going to end up purely dependent on organic searches for which Google will try to have an upper hand. (Of course, Anu is not worried regarding this)

Now an open question to both the startups. What is the funda behind your startup’s name?

Readers, what do you think about these two sites? Just give a try and let us know through your comments.

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8 Responses to “Wondering where to eat?”

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It’s a nice article about the upcoming Restaurant Search Engines… Addressing your point about the listing of Discounts there is a very good website in the same domain called http://www.mealpundit.com which has a list of places which provide discounts specially to the mealpundit discount card holders… They have these discount cards which I have one and is indeed very useful… Recently we had a party at Dhabba Express in Chennai and we nearly saved about Rupees 700 on a bill of about 5000!!1 Aint that amazing…

They do miss some of the features like Maps and Send to Phone facilites as of now.. Hope they are working on these… And also how about getting more cities.. Mealpundit… Anyone listening??

Thanks Shilpa. Not sure how this site got missed out. I did searches like “India restaurant review” etc to figure out if there are any unknown startups. May be I will include in part 2, if there is one. Anyways added to startups directory though.

This article will help the new upcoming startups to look into the perspective of the review and comments addressed here and add additional customization in to their product which serves the customer better.

Addressing your point about the local search sending response in sms, mobile search, email etc there is a new beta version site called http://www.asklaila.com/ which is currently serving specific cities like chennai, bangalore etc.

I hope they are listening to the reviews updated here and serve people better.

hi prabhu…
Í got to this one by google actually searching for “restaurant search india”… They were the first result listed.. I am surprized why they have not been noticed till now… Anyways hope to see them here soon…

Thanks Shilpa for pointing out. I guess I need to recollect my “Keyword generation” skills 🙂

I guess the difference between NeedGrub and other websites is that we focus solely on food and restaurants. We are not necesarrily trying to overload the user with information about other city matters, nor are we a generalised local search engine. Our focus is just restaurants and provide our users a reliable and great way to find their grub – since the name “NeedGrub”.

There is alway technology and I guess almost overwhelming number of choices of “cool stuff” to add to the website. We will always be listening to our users and provide them with the bells and whistles they expect, as we go. There is also a need for simplicity in our model for many different reasons and to stay focussed on our primary goal – provide grub info to the foodies! No more, No less. Users should be able to express their thoughts and at the same time, restaurants need to have their fair chance to promote their business to the users.

Hi Anu,

Nice to meet you. Wish you good luck with your endeavour.

it’s very nice……. interesting…..
thankyou for giving it…
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