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As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Bengaluru hotels, customers divided over call to boycott e-platforms



BENGALURU: The National Restaurant Association of India’s (NRAI) tweet last week asking its members to log out from online food ordering and delivery platforms like Zomato, Dineout, EazyDiner and Nearbuy as their offers were hurting the hotel business, has divided stakeholders in Bengaluru.
While customers swear by the offers, restaurants are saying the platforms are rigging the business and eating into their profits.

The restaurateurs’ grouse is against offers like Zomato’s Gold, which has one million active restaurant and pub customers as subscribers. Launched in November 2017, Gold’s 1+1 offer allows customers ordering one food item to get another one for free from partner-restaurants. There is also a 2+2 offer on drinks. Such offers can be availed by either placing an online order or by visiting hotels/restaurants.

“Zomato Gold has been a hit with youngsters who can’t afford to go to premium hotels and restaurants,” said Tamanna Diwan, a frequent restaurant-goer, adding, such offers help those who would earlier think twice before taking their friends to a posh restaurant.
Seconding Tamanna, restaurant-goer Vishak R said offers help students explore different cuisines without bothering too much about the cost.
Restaurant owners, however, alleged that offers by online platforms are nothing but rigging the game. “Zomato only provided membership and it was owners like us who gave discounts. How are we to make money from such discounts,” asked Raghunandan Prasad, a restaurant owner.
Another restaurant owner said discounts are leaving the business in the red. “Online platforms aggressively campaign, forcing us to join their platforms and in return, they are only burning holes in our pockets,” he added.

Initially, Zomato had informed NRAI members that only a select crowd could avail Zomato Gold and other diner discounts, but now there is no limit to enjoying the benefits, said Manu Chandra, NRAI-chapter head, Bengaluru.

“People are visiting restaurants because of discounts rather than the quality of service and food, which has affected many of us,” Chandra said. Deep discounting has affected sales and the business mode itself, he added.

Things haven’t gone as planned: Goyal

Respond ing to NRAI’s call, Zomato founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a series of tweets: “Zomato Gold has been a major hit but some bargain hunters have joined Zomato Gold and they are hurting some segments of restaurant industry very badly … we have made a mistake and things have not gone as planned and this is a wake-up call and we need to do 100x more for our restaurants … we are willing to work with industry and make modification to Zomato Gold and create a win-win situation. In the interest of the consumer, we request restaurant owners to stop the Logout Campaign and have a collaborative discussion with internet aggregators for finding a sustainable way forward (sic) …”

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