The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) has shelved its plan to launch a food delivery app of its own. Instead, the apex body of restaurateurs has proposed an alternate delivery model aimed at enabling small and large F&B entrepreneurs to use digital technology to connect with consumers directly. NRAI is going to partner with Dotpe, Thrive and Peppo to put in place a model that’s aimed at providing an alternative to existing food delivery platforms such as Zomato and Swiggy.

NRAI, which represents over 5 l lakh restaurants across the country, has been at loggerheads with food-tech aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato over issues like heavy commissions, penalties, and data masking. NRAI had started a #LogoutMovement in 2019 when several hundreds of restaurants opted out of these platforms.

NRAI had also announced to launch an app as an alternative platform to the aggregators. However, after a year of working on such a platform, the plan has been shelved for now, according to sources.

On Thursday, during an industry town hall meeting, NRAI proposed a new initiative called ‘Order Direct’ model which promotes restaurateurs to reach directly to its customers.

Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI said, “We are committed to take better control of our business and our customer data and become digitally more self-reliant as an Industry.”

NRAI is soon going to organise boot camps for its members to understand these platforms and benefit from them. Gauri Devidayal, Partner, Food Matters, said, “The idea for us is to create an alternative, not a replacement. We recognise the positive aspects of what the aggregators are offering us at present and to our customers too, but this relationship is no longer a partnership but rather is one built on dependency. And that’s what we are working to change.”