At a time when the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is cracking down on non-compliant restaurants, Zomato has announced that it will be de-listing hundreds of restaurants, which are not compliant with these norms, from its food delivery platform.
According to a statement from the company, it says that it is joining forces with FSSAI to take strict actions in the interest of public health and has hence removed the restaurants which have not been able to furnish an FSSAI license to the platform.
As and when these restaurants provide Zomato with their FSSAI licenses, they will be re-listed on Zomato's food delivery platform. Some restaurants which have not been able to provide their FSSAI licenses but have high Zomato ratings and/or high repeat order volumes on Zomato – have been given until the end of September to furnish their licenses.
"At Zomato, we care about our users as much as we care about our restaurant partners. Without a balance between these two elements, we wouldn’t be able to adhere to our long-held mission – better food for more people. However, it hurts us when regulations and hygiene standards are not followed by restaurants. As a result, starting today, we are de-listing hundreds of restaurants from our food ordering platform for not being compliant FSSAI regulations. These restaurants were not able to furnish an FSSAI license to Zomato. I personally wish to thank Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, and fully support his organisation’s ongoing efforts toward a safer and better restaurant industry in India,” Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato said in a blogpost.
As part of this exercise, Zomato says that it will also run mandatory hygiene checks, following the food safety and hygiene checklist, before listing any cloud kitchen on its platform. These hygiene checks are conducted by accredited third party auditors who are experts at this. It also launched Food Hygiene Ratings last year to educate its users about the hygiene condition of the restaurants.
"Most of our high order volume restaurant partners currently have or have applied for their FSSAI licences. We are certain this move will not have an impact on our order volumes. The extension offered to high rated food delivery partners is until the end of this month. In the event that they fail to furnish or apply for their FSSAI licences within the stipulated period we will delist them from our food delivery platform. We would be happy to re-list them alongside any of the other partners as and when they furnish their licences,” said, Mohit Gupta, CEO - Food Delivery Business, Zomato.
Over the last two months, Zomato has on-boarded thousands of restaurants and currently has over 50,000 on the platform.
Zomato has also requested its users to write constructive reviews about restaurants where the quality or hygiene standards are not met and help Zomato in this endeavour.
Moreover, Zomato also feels strongly about the creating awareness to reduce plastic wastage and has been taking baby steps towards this. It is providing its delivery partners insulated, specially designed bags so that restaurants don't have to add extra layers of packaging in order to keep the food fresh. Zomato also introduced the 'Go Green' filter last year to encourage its users to avoid ordering plastic cutlery, unless required.