Deep-discounting row: Swiggy agrees to review schemes but Zomato holds out

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on August 30, 2019

The discussion between the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and online food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy seems to have made little headway on the issue of deep discounting.

While Swiggy is understood to have agreed to come back with a solution to address the problem, there was not much headway with Zomato, according to sources who were part of the meetings on Thursday.

“Swiggy may meet some of the demands of the restaurateurs, whereas talks with Zomato are work in progress,” said a source.

Earlier this week, the NRAI had written to Swiggy, Zomato, Uber Eats and FoodPanda, raising concerns over the online food aggregators’ deep discounting, data masking and high and uneven commission charges. The letters addressed large standalone and chain restaurants, smaller players operating in micro-markets across India and the fast-growing cloud kitchen entities. According to sources, over 3,000 restaurants have logged out of the portals in protest so far.

While UberEats and FoodPanda are yet to respond to the letters, Zomato and Swiggy met the NRAI on Thursday to initiate discussions.

Speaking to BusinessLine after the meeting, Anurag Katriar, Head of NRAI’s Mumbai Chapter, said: “Meeting with Swiggy was more forthcoming. They have agreed to look into the matters of private label, deep discounting and high and uneven commission charges, among others.”

“We had a fair and long conversation with Zomato. The meeting was inconclusive, it’s a work in progress. We will meet them (again) after 10 days,” Katriar said without giving further details.

Private label issue

The NRAI particularly expressed concern over Swiggy’s private label platform. “We told them we did not think it was fair. They agreed to look into it,” a source said.

"We had a detailed meeting with NRAI where we discussed all issues faced by the industry and agreed to work towards solutions sustainable for all participants. We have agreed to meet in a short time to discuss potential solutions and the way forward,"said a Zomato spokesperson.

A Swiggy spokesperson said, “Swiggy and the NRAI are committed to creating value for both restaurants and consumers in a sustainable manner. We have had a constructive and collaborative dialogue today and have agreed to reconvene on all the points that were discussed. Our goal remains to enable a win-win for our small, medium and large restaurant partners and the food delivery ecosystem.” 

Published on August 30, 2019

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