Restaurant players raise concern about Zomato's food order rejection policy

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on April 10, 2021

"Restaurant industry fighting for survival"

At a time when the restaurant industry has been adversely impacted by night curfews and mini lockdowns in several parts of the country, some players on Saturday raised concerns about Zomato’s food order rejection policy.

The revised order acceptance terms of the food delivery app include liability on restaurants to compensate the customer for each rejected order "an amount equivalent to 25 per cent of the order value, or a minimum of Rs 25, whichever is higher but not exceeding Rs 200."

At the same time, if the rejected orders exceed 3 per cent of the daily orders and more than one order is rejected, then the food delivery app will temporarily suspend the player’s online ordering services for the next day, according to emails, which Zomato said have been sent only to restaurants which have high order rejection rates.

Several players have raised concerns on Twitter regarding Zomato’s order acceptance terms and said these were unilateral in nature and against the spirit of equitable partnership.

In a tweet, Anurag Katriar, ED & CEO, deGustibus Hospitality said, “such sudden unilateral decisions backed by an open threat is a strong reason to bring in more equitable e-commerce policy.”

Riyaaz Amlani, MD & CEO, Impresario Handmade Restaurants, said the restaurant industry is facing immense challenges due to various restrictions being imposed and it is unfair for the food delivery app to be imposing such conditions during these challenging times.

In its response on Twitter, Zomato said the order acceptance terms have been in practice for the last eight months and had helped reduce rejection rates by about 50 per cent. It added that order rejection policy e-mail has been sent only to restaurants that have four time higher rejection rates than the platform. “It’s important to note that in all these rejected order cases, we pass on all the collected refunds to our customers. If an order is rejected after five minutes, we issue additional compensation (funded by us) as a token of apology to our customers for the inconvenience,” Zomato added.

Another industry player added that such terms are unjust, at a time when the restaurant industry is fighting for survival and their dependence on the food delivery business is much higher.

Published on April 10, 2021

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