It is pretty safe to say that the food aggregator business in India is not going as strong as just a month prior to this’ time. On 15th August, over 300 restaurants registered under the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) in Gurgaon decided to break their ties with aggregators and table reservation services, like Zomato, EazyDiner, Nearbuy, MagicPin and Gourmet Passport, under a special #Logout campaign.
In just about 3 days, more than 1,200 restaurants in several major cities across India have delisted themselves from the dine-in programmes of services like Zomato. This spread like wildfire among the restaurants all around the country, making the whole scenario a lot more difficult for Zomato and other food aggregators. Not just this, some days back NRAI asked delivery platforms to stop their deep discounts.
Amidst all of this heat and calamities, Zomato has decided to launch its Gold Membership plan for food delivery, just like the one it has for dine-ins. Not to say much but this is rather a bold move on Zomato’s part, considering the present heat of the situation.
Zomato Plans to Launch Gold Membership for Delivery
Zomato is known for offering Gold Membership programme on dine-in restaurants that lets customers avail special benefits on food and drinks. This is highly being opposed by restaurants, as they claim to have suffered heavy losses complying to the anytime, anywhere, any-day discounting behavior by aggregators. Unsustainable deep discounts and the table reservation services have hurt their business models.
Despite of all the resistance offered by a multitude of restaurants around the country, Zomato has decided to roll out the Gold Membership plan for food delivery, which directly shows that it is confident of resolving issues that were at the heart of the conflict with its restaurant partners.
A major part of revenue that Zomato generates comes from its food delivery sector. The users have been constantly demanding to bring Gold to delivery and now Zomato has decided to step into the area and roll out this program across multiple cities soon.
Zomato has been reaching out to different restaurants, asking them to join this platform, which would offer consumers benefits such as 1+1 on food orders (maximum discount capped at ?300) and promises to boost loyalty among consumers. The offer will not apply to drinks and no other discounts can be clubbed with Gold.
The Deal with Restaurants
There comes a list of terms and conditions for restaurants on linking with Zomato’s online Gold service. They’ll have to pay a one-time fee to Zomato, which will obviously be lower than what they pay for Gold on dine-in. The maximum fee for on-boarding restaurants is Rs 10,000, including taxes and varies from city to city.
Many restaurants declined to volunteer in Zomato’s present offer. Even in a meeting held with NRAI held last week on Thursday, Zomato told the committee that it is planning to roll out Gold on delivery. Naturally, the representatives of NRAI advised the former against it but Zomato was too rigid to agree. Restaurants willing to join the programme will have to upgrade their back-end.
Zomato has not decided whether this will be available to its existing Gold members or offered as a separate programme to its customers.