It’s Zomato vs others in negotiations with restaurants

It’s Zomato vs others in negotiations with restaurants
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
23 Aug, 2019

Even as hotel aggregator Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal said yesterday he is logging out of discussions with restaurant owners over the deep discounting issue, other aggregators like Magicpin, EazyDiner, Nearbuy and Dineout have said they were willing to work with National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)  to address the issues at hand. 

“We wholeheartedly agree with NRAI that deep discounting is not something that benefits the restaurants. We don’t charge any subscription fee from our customers or partners,” said a statement from Nearbuy in response to queries sent by TechCircle.

“We have made changes to the platform to further empower restaurants to 100% control what they sell and at what price they sell. While this feature has existed for quite some time, nearbuy.com has set up a special team that will act as a concierge for all restaurants so that the restaurants can take advantage of these features,” the statement added.

Goyal had called out NRAI  president Rahul Singh over a discount offered at his Beer Cafe restaurant. 

Earlier this week, the association met representatives of multiple booking and dine-in membership platforms including Zomato and others like Gourmet Passport, Dineout, EazyDiner, Nearbuy and Magicpin.  

The aggregators had agreed to revise the terms of their agreement with the restaurants to ensure that the margins of restaurants are not affected by being a part of these programmes.

Founder of EazyDiner Riyaaz Amlani said they understood the pain points of restaurants.

 “Aggregators should be encouraging advance reservations and not a walk-in deal mentality. That is why EazyDiner as an aggregator has never launched a 1+1 deep discount product. NRAI appreciated our stand on this matter,” said a statement from EazyDiner.

Anshoo Sharma, CEO, Magicpin said that as a token of support, the company will offer Rs 3,000  marketing credits to all members of NRAI and the restaurant ecosystem for the next 30 days.

Dineout also joined the group of platforms supporting the NRAI move.  

“We have offered to extend our loyalty management module of our B2B platform inResto at zero cost to our restaurant partners in order to further our mission of making every restaurant in the country to be tech-enabled. Together we can bring in a new era and take the restaurant industry forward with the help of technology, discovery, reservations and payments,” said Ankit Mehrotra, CEO of Dineout, in a statement.

In his tweet, Goyal added that on a democratised platform like Zomato, large restaurants owners have to compete with independent restaurants on a hyperlocal basis, and are not able to leverage their large presence to pull more distributions/profits. 

NRAI had recently started a #logout campaign over deep discounting practices by restaurant aggregators, booking and delivery platforms, following which Goyal had taken to Twitter to request the restaurant owners to stop the #logout campaign.

Pradeep Shetty, joint secretary, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said they have written to the aggregators regarding their expectations. If the aggregators do not come up with a resolution, they may opt for a nationwide protest, he added.