Days after writing to Swiggy and Zomato, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) met with both food delivery majors in a bid to address issues pertaining to the online delivery space.
Issues of deep discounting, high and uneven commission charges, data masking and mandatory bundling of services were discussed and NRAI says that there is an in-principle agreement to resolve these issues within a specific timeframe.
NRAI says that Swiggy’s approach was fairly constructive. “They understood all our viewpoints, and promised to come back with an actionable plan in the follow-up meeting,” Anurag Katriar, NRAI Mumbai Chapter Head, said.
However, NRAI says that the meeting with Zomato began on a negative note as Zomato stated its intention to extend Zomato Gold on the delivery vertical as well.
“This is an entirely unacceptable proposition to NRAI, due to the stated stance of #ZoGoisNoGo. On one hand, NRAI is determined to eradicate the epidemic of deep discounting for dine-in restaurants, whereas Zomato seems to just extend the same to the delivery business. Despite the abrupt beginning, other issues were discussed at length and Zomato will examine them at their end and revert in the follow-up meeting,” Anurag added.
Zomato confirmed the development to TNM. “There has been a long-standing demand from our users to bring Gold to delivery, since delivery constitutes a large part of their engagement with us. We have been working on this and will be launching a programme soon across multiple cities," a company spokesperson said.
Zomato also says that it is engaging with its restaurant partners to ensure this roll out helps the growth of the restaurant industry.
NRAI will meet with the food delivery companies again in the second week of September to get an update on the reformation work.
“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 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,” a company spokesperson told TNM.
Zomato too, has said that it has agreed to work towards solutions that are sustainable for all participants
In the letter written to Swiggy and Zomato earlier this week, NRAI said it received complaints and concerns over the lack of transparency, deep discounting, and abuse of dominant position by the online delivery aggregators. It claimed that this is impacting the growth, employment and sustainability of the thousands of small restaurants and startups in the country.
Katriar added that while they are not against the technology platforms, their concerns are largely around these aggregators misusing their dominant position to indulge in predatory behaviour commercially and in forming the terms of engagement.