Mumbai restaurants shun Zomato Gold scheme on home delivery

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 26, 2019 Published on November 26, 2019

The Indian hotel and restaurant association (AHAR) has  decided to boycott the  Zomato Gold Scheme that offers  one for one food item free on home delivery.

The Gold scheme was initially offering free food and drinks only to subscribers visiting a member restaurant. This was then extended to home delivery as well, even as restaurants were protesting the structure of the  scheme.

Also read: Zomato planning to extend Gold programme to home delivery, says NRAI

Hoteliers’ protest

AHAR pointed out that there would be no gain for the hoteliers and it would only benefit the food aggregator company. AHAR officials headed by its president Santosh Shetty held a  meeting with  Zomato officials in October-end on various issues.

They had  clearly told the food aggregator that they are completely against the Zomato Gold service on delivery and asked them to scrap it. However, there has been no action by the food aggregator on the same. AHAR, which has 8,000 members, said over 300 restaurants have completely boycotted the Zomato Gold delivery service. All the members of the association that  opted for the service will stop it  with immediate effect.

Shetty said, “We had very clearly told the Zomato officials that we are completely against the Zomato Gold delivery service scheme. Its been almost a month after our meeting and we have decided to boycott the service. We have not taken any decision on the Zomato gold dining services, but we are completely against the Zomato gold delivery services. Our members who have  taken their services will stop it immediately.”

Read more: Zomato logs out of talks with restaurateurs on deep discounting

Unlicensed eateries

Earlier, the restaurant association had asked Zomato to service only those restaurants that have mandatory licences. As per the law any eating house/kitchen/cafe has to mandatorily have 394 Licence from the Brihanmumbai Mahanagar Palika. AHAR in the meeting with Zomato officials had informed them about many outlets listed on their site with only FSSAI payment receipt/licence and not the mandatory licences.

“There are instances of duplication of names of restaurants which results in customer ordering from a restaurant with a similar sounding name but not the original,  because the platform allows restaurants with just the basic FSSAI registration and not the Mcgm required 394 health licence,”  Shetty added.

AHAR has asked Zomato to request all the partner restaurants to provide with their 394 Licence number and the same needs to be uploaded against the restaurant name on the Zomato site.

AHAR had also raised an issue on the delivery commission rates. The association said  the delivery commissions charged by Zomato are arbitrary. The commission goes up to 22 to 25 per cent in some cases and hence is difficult for the restaurants to do the business.

Food bloggers

On classification and categorisation of hotels and restaurants by independent food bloggers, Shetty said  all  bloggers are not reliable.  Acording to him, some food bloggers  misuse the platform for  personal gains  and threaten restaurants with  negative rating.

“The harsh comments given by bloggers are the result of not  entertaining them. Overall, these bloggers are not beneficent for hotel industry. In several instances, a blogger is in a different city and blogging  about the restaurants of another city. They sometimes do it for personal gratification,  which could be as simple as a free meal if in the same city, but if denied, give negative rating,” Shetty said.

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Published on November 26, 2019
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