Zomato rebrands Gold programme with additional delivery benefits

Zomato rebrands Gold programme with additional delivery benefits
Photo Credit: VCCircle
1 Jul, 2020

Zomato Gold, the membership programme of the food delivery and restaurant aggregation platform, has been rebranded as Zomato Pro.

Customers who subscribe to the programme will receive exclusive delivery offers over and above existing deals, the company in a blog update. They will also be provided with priority delivery services, including 15-20% faster delivery times during peak hours, Gaurav Gupta, chief operating officer at Zomato, said in the announcement. 

From August 1, existing Gold users will be automatically moved to Pro, the post said, adding that there is no price difference between the two programmes. 

The number of restaurant partners on the programme will also be increased 50%, the post said. 

In April, Zomato sold Gold memberships worth Rs 2.6 crore, according to a separate company statement. 

Marketing the programme, Zomato said on its blog: “... if you don’t save 2x the subscription fee of Zomato Pro within the subscription period, we will auto-refund your subscription fee at the end of the year, no questions asked!” The offer will be valid for subscriptions bought from July 1.

In September last year, Zomato extended the Gold programme for delivery orders, which included offers such as buy-one-get-one-free on food or drinks, depending on the deal with the restaurant partner. However, the move saw massive opposition from restaurant bodies, including the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), which boycotted Zomato Gold members at its partner restaurants. The Gurugram-based startup had to also suspend its Infinity Dining programme, which provided all-you-can-eat offers via Gold, as a result of this standoff.  

The latest announcement by Zomato comes at a time when the restaurant and hospitality industry has been grappling with losses caused by the Covid-19 induced national lockdown. In May, industry body NRAI had asked government representatives to provide input tax credit for GST at restaurants and to protect the interest of restaurateurs over “interests of a handful of aggregators”, alluding to food technology platforms Swiggy and Zomato. 

Zomato is also reportedly in talks with Singapore-based sovereign fund Temasek to raise $100 million in an equity round even as it awaits a balance of $100 million from Ant Financial as part of a funding round announced in January. Investor InfoEdge disclosed that the capital infusion was delayed on account of the recently-revised FDI rules.

On a path to cash conservation, Zomato also suspended its grocery delivery business, which it started during the lockdown, and laid off 13% of its staffers due to a slowdown in business. It also cancelled the acquisition of drone company TechEagle as trials for delivery through drones may take time.