Deep discount: Restaurants delist from online food platforms

Aug 15, 2019
New Delhi: Challenging the deep discounting practices of online food delivery platforms like Zomato Gold and EasyDiner, over 300 restaurants in Gurugram under the umbrella of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Thursday observed a #Logout campaign.

According to a report in Inc42.com, these restaurants reportedly delisted themselves from “platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, Nearbuy, MagicPin among others”.

“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,” NRAI president Rahul Singh was quoted as saying.

Home-grown restaurant search and delivery platform Zomato last month introduced the “Infinity Dining” plan for its “Gold” subscribers that allows them to have unlimited a la carte at partner restaurants.

“For the same price that users would spend on a typical two-course meal, they can now order anything and everything you want from the entire menu (yes, the entire menu!) with unlimited servings of their favourite dishes,” Gaurav Gupta, Chief Operating Officer & Co-founder, Zomato, wrote in a blog post.

Zomato said its Gold subscription programme has grown almost 100 per cent in the past eight months.

The plan has been introduced in partnership with 350 restaurants – with at least a 3.5 rating — in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

The restaurants under the NRAI in Delhi and Mumbai have also reportedly threatened to delist from these dining platforms.

Last month, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) officials met representatives from online food delivery firms like Zomato and Swiggy and offline industry leaders and directed them to sit and solve their differences and boost equitable growth in the industry.

The meeting was called to discuss issues such as deep discounting and opening up of private label brands by the online food platforms that has affected the operations of offline restaurants across the country.

Sources had told IANS that both online food delivery platforms that also included Uber Eats and Foodpanda and the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) along with other offline hotels and restaurant associations gave their set of recommendations and justifications to the DPIIT officials on their concerns.

Another grudge from offline restaurant owners was that food delivery platforms used technology to study dishes that their consumers like and created their own private labels along with deep discounting.

The online restaurant aggregators argue that they have created employment for thousands of people and must get support from the government.IANS