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NRAI Tells Online Food Aggregators to Realign Their Offerings to Create Restaurant-Friendly Ecosystem

It was decided that all aggregators will rejig their features to detox the consumers from the addiction of deep discounts that has crippled the industry

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NRAI, Online, Food
In a meeting with the five top players -- Zomato, EazyDiner, Dineout, Magicpin and Nearbuy -- here, the industry body discussed how technology has a key role to play in driving engagement and discovery for retailers. Pixabay

In a bid to stop “unethical” deep discounting practices of online food aggregators amid nationwide #logout campaign, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Tuesday told the platforms to realign their offerings to create a restaurant-friendly ecosystem, thus ending freebies and detox the consumers from discount addiction.

In a meeting with the five top players — Zomato, EazyDiner, Dineout, Magicpin and Nearbuy — here, the industry body discussed how technology has a key role to play in driving engagement and discovery for retailers versus deep discounting.

“It was decided that all aggregators will rejig their features to detox the consumers from the addiction of deep discounts that has crippled the industry,” the association said in a statement.

The meeting came after thousands of restaurants delisted from online food aggregators’ platforms across the country. The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) on Monday joined the chorus, calling for a review of the agreement of online food apps with restaurants and threatening nationwide protests.

NRAI, Online, Food
In a bid to stop “unethical” deep discounting practices of online food aggregators amid nationwide #logout campaign. Pixabay

Anshoo Sharma, Co-Founder & CEO, magicpin, said in a statement that they had a very productive discussion with the key members of NRAI.

“The NRAI members included President Rahul Singh (Beer Cafe), Priyank Sukhija (BoomBox, Lazeez Affaire, Flying Saucer and more), Vikrant Batra (Cafe Delhi Heights) and Nitin Saluja (Chaayos). We agreed on how technology has a key role to play in driving engagement and discovery for retailers versus deep discounting,’ said Sharma.

magicpin said it works at a base margin of 10 per cent and allows partners to top-up anywhere from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20 Lakh as per their marketing needs for the month while delivering guaranteed RoIs to them.

“We are fully supportive of NRAI’s cause and are looking forward to working together to create sustainable impact for its members through the use of technology,” Sharma added.

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According to the FHRAI, restaurants are willing to do business with online food apps but the current policies need to be reconsidered.

“Restaurants are constantly but subtly threatened to participate in deep discounting schemes without respite through the year with one scheme getting replaced by another.

“Our members are neither given an option nor the opportunity to agree nor are they even consulted. Promises made while launching any new scheme is almost always broken by changing the rules itself,” said SK Jaiswal, Vice President of FHRAI.

Zomato’s Founder Deepinder Goyal had also requested restaurant owners to stop the #logout campaign. (IANS)

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NRAI Slams Zomato for Extending its “Gold” Programme on its Delivery Platform

It is another instance of Zomato changing the goalpost

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NRAI, Zomato, Gold
The programme is currently available in 16 cities. Pixabay

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday slammed Zomato for extending its “Gold” programme on its delivery platform, saying it is a desperate attempt by the online food aggregator to shore up the sinking fortunes of its flagship Gold programme.

Zomato has announced to take its Gold programme where existing and new Zomato Gold members will be able to use Gold for home delivery orders. The programme is currently available in 16 cities.

Zomato Gold was till date available only on eating out at fine-dine restaurants.

“It is another instance of Zomato changing the goalpost. Gold was originally launched as a tool to promote the culture of ‘dining out’, but now it is being extended on deliveries too,” said NRAI, which has been at loggerheads with Zomato regarding the Gold programme over deep discounting practices.

NRAI, Zomato, Gold
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Saturday slammed Zomato for extending its “Gold” programme on its delivery platform, saying it is a desperate attempt. Pixabay

“Essentially, it is now a programme that merely promotes ‘deep discounts’ on both dine-in and delivery verticals, the cost of which is borne solely by the restaurant partners,” the restaurants’ trade body added.

NRAI also said that it continues to remain firm in its belief that Zomato Gold in its current form is an unacceptable proposition.

“We expressed the same unequivocally to the Zomato team in our recent talks. However, in utter disregard to the viability of the restaurant fraternity, they have chosen to extend the programme further to the delivery vertical as well,” the NRAI said.

“The NRAI remains steadfast in its belief that Zomato Gold in its current form is not acceptable in either dine-in or delivery segment,” Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, had said in a statement.

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According to the NRAI, Zomato’s move will be calamitous to the business in the delivery segment and NRAI appeals to all restaurants and cloud kitchen entrepreneurs to stay away from Zomato Gold on delivery.

“Offer right quality at the right price, rather than falling for such discount gimmicks,” NRAI told Zomato, adding that the #ZoGoIsNoGo campaign is on and “we continue to #StayLoggedOut.”

According to Zomato, food delivery was in its early stages when it launched the Gold programme in 2017.

“We thank our restaurant partners for all the feedback, and users for the love they have shown towards Zomato Gold. It is very much these conversations, that led us to put forward a better and bigger Gold programme,” Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder and COO, Zomato, said in a statement.

NRAI, Zomato, Gold
Zomato has announced to take its Gold programme where existing and new Zomato Gold members will be able to use Gold for home delivery orders. Pixabay

The Gold programme drives 25-30 per cent business for its restaurant partners and more and more Gold users (90 per cent) are exploring new restaurants because of the programme.

“It, therefore, makes eminent sense to extend this discovery behaviour to the delivery restaurant base,” said Gupta.

Zomato has always been hellbent to make its contentious Gold programme available for delivery.

“With over 13,000 establishments across 41 cities, Zomato Gold for Delivery brings a wide choice of great restaurants to Zomato Gold members,” added Mohit Gupta, CEO, Delivery, Zomato.

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Gold on delivery will offer the second-highest priced item on the order for free, except for combos, MRP items and special dishes.

It will only apply on minimum order values of Rs 300 with discount capped at Rs 300 per order.

New users will pay Rs 1,800 for an annual package that will give them access to dining out and delivery privileges. (IANS)