Zomato logs out of talks with restaurateurs on deep discounting

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 29, 2019

Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal. File Photo   -  BusinessLine

Campaign pitches small restaurant owners against large restaurant owners, says Zomato's founder

Deepinder Goyal, founder of Zomato, has decided to walk out of the ongoing talks with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on the issue of deep discounting.

‘Painted as bullies’

“Zomato is logging out of the logout campaign. We have said enough and we are getting back to work,” Goyal said in a tweet.

In another tweet, he explained that Zomato was a democratised platform, where large restaurant owners compete with independent restaurants on a hyperlocal basis, and they are not able to leverage their large presence to pull move distribution or profits.”

Thus,“An aggregator’s most important job is to level the playing field for everyone. This is not about aggregators versus restaurants: this is about the small restaurant owner versus the large restaurant owner — and we are being painted as bullies,” Goyal said.

Alleging that the logout campaign was driven by Rahul Singh, the President of NRAI, along with the some other large restaurant owners, Goyal said that they were using “the NRAI platform to sabotage aggregators and benefit themselves.”

Also read: Zomato offers tweaks to deep discount scheme, but restaurants are not buying it

On Wednesday, Zomato made several tweaks to its ‘Zomato Gold’ programme, informing them of “upcoming improvements” by September 15. It also asked the restaurateur-partners to sign-up for the programme before August 26.

Goyal said, “We stand by the changes we are making to Gold, they are in the supreme interest of our restaurant partners and valued members — it helps everyone win.”

Knee-jerk reaction

However, the NRAI declined the offer. In a statement, it said that the offer was a “tweak in the drug which doesn’t solve the addiction”.

NRAI, in response to Zomato’s mail, said the latest move was a knee-jerk reaction to the #LogOut campaign.

On August 15, about 300 restaurateurs signed up to the ‘#LogOut’ campaign against online food discovery platforms like Zomato, NearBuy, MagicPin and EazyDiner, challenging their deep discounting practices.

So far, over 2,500 restaurants are estimated to have logged out.

Published on August 22, 2019

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