Restau­rant Tech

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Industry Stories -

Food Dis­cov­ery Plat­forms

Over the last few years, food dis­cov­ery plat­form star­tups, which al­low con­sumers to dis­cover restau­rants, dishes and, cuisines, have be­come con­sumers’ go-to for de­cid­ing where to eat out at or or­der in from. Of­fer­ing a com­bi­na­tion of restau­rant data with menus as well as ba­sic in­for­ma­tion like lo­ca­tion, open­ing hours, and more, th­ese star­tups not only tar­get con­sumers but also restau­rants look­ing to mar­ket their prod­ucts.

The MENA re­gion is cur­rently home to 9 food dis­cov­ery plat­forms spread across all 10 mar­kets. While Zomato is in­dis­putably the leader when it comes to restau­rant search and dis­cov­ery, re­gional play­ers are start­ing to make their way into the spot­light. Round Menu, a restau­rant dis­cov­ery plat­form, re­ceived an in­vest­ment of $730K shortly af­ter be­ing launched in the UAE in 2012 and has since ex­panded to 7 other mar­kets. El­menus, an Egyp­tian-based food dis­cov­ery plat­form, also re­cently raised $1.5M in Se­ries A fund­ing, and boasts over one mil­lion monthly users.

Reser­va­tion Plat­forms

Reser­va­tion plat­form star­tups, which al­low con­sumers to browse restau­rants, book spe­cific ta­bles for spec­i­fied dates and times, and view of­fers and pro­mo­tions, are us­ing tech­nol­ogy to mod­ern­ize the reser­va­tions process. Aim­ing to tackle and re­solve the pain point as­so­ci­ated with the in­con­ve­nience of book­ing a ta­ble, th­ese star­tups not only help diners make last mi-nute reser­va­tions, but also help restau­rants man­age and boost their busi­nesses and pro­mote their events.

Although a hot sec­tor, the on­line reser­va­tion busi­ness is nearly 20 years old – global restau­rant reser­va­tion leader Opentable launched in 1998 - and the ma­jor­ity of MENA’S reser­va­tion plat­forms have been around for a cou­ple of years. Out of the 7 reser­va­tion plat­form star­tups in the re­gion, Re­serve­out, launched in 2012, and Eat, launched in 2015, lead the sec­tor. Jor­dan-based Re­serve­out cur­rently func­tions in 6 mar­kets and has raised $5.4M in fund­ing to date, and Bahrain based Eat func­tions in 4 mar­kets and has raised $2.2M in fund­ing to date.

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