It seems like Zomato is not having good times with customers and partners. With over 1,200 restaurants delisting themselves from the web-based food delivery app, the company is plunging deep into misery struggling to cope-up with the changing scenarios after their recent Muslim-appeasing, secular dramas. Restaurants in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, Pune and Vadodra exited platforms including Zomato, EazyDiner, Nearbuy, MagicPin and Gourmet Passport under a #Logout campaign complaining of huge discounts offered by the online delivery apps.
In a bid to challenge deep discounting practices of restaurant reservation aggregators, it was National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) who started the #Logout campaign. The plan is to exit the dine-in programmes from today (August 15). #Logout is what restaurants are using to silently mark their protest against membership programmes that allow diners to indulge in bargains such as “one plus one” on drinks and food on their in-restaurant bills.
“Restaurants have already suffered due to increasing rentals, and denial of input tax credit,” says Rahul Singh, President, NRAI. “The situation is now aggravated through the anytime, anywhere, any-day discounting behaviour by aggregators. So now restaurants have come together to detox consumers from discount addiction.” He adds. The restaurants, part of the NRAI in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai said they would de-list from these platforms and apps too.
Meanwhile, Zomato in a blog post addressed to restaurants, questioned the #Logout campaign and some of the proposals being considered by industry groups. “We have noticed, among others, active discussions on price-fixing and limiting the supply of services, which could constitute cartelisation. We urge you to be careful and not get involved in any such discussions,” it said. In emails sent to restaurant partners, Zomato has asked for 45 days’ notice if they planned to exit and pay a sign-up fee per restaurant if they wanted to join back.
The developments show the future of portals like Zomato wouldn’t be as easy as a piece of cake, however, the company is regularly in discussions to address the issues that would otherwise mark their exit.