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‘Food aggregators like Swiggy, Zomato making consumers discount addicts’



NEW DELHI: The dispute between restaurateurs and food aggregators such as Swiggy and Zomato took a fresh turn on Tuesday, with a restaurant association questioning if the startups are making consumers ‘discount addicts.’

Deep discounts were among the issues discussed at the first taskforce meeting between the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and food aggregators Swiggy, Zomato, Foodpanda and Uber Eats.

“There is no doubt that the aggregators have created a platform to bring restaurants closer to the customer through the benefit of digitalisation, but is it making the customers ‘discount addicts’ under the guise of ‘customer is winning?’ One can’t sell at loss to attract customers, distort competition and create dominance through capital dumping,” NRAI president Rahul Singh said. Queries sent to Swiggy and Zomato remained unanswered till press time.

The government’s FDI policy on ecommerce was also tabled at the meeting and the issue of whether any marketplace exercises control over inventory or offers preferential treatment to its own non-restaurant private labels and cloud kitchens was also discussed.

The meeting addressed the dispute between standalone and chain restaurants and the aggregators regarding deep discounts, data masking and private labels. “As an association of standalone and chain restaurants, we have been approached by members regarding unfair and discriminatory practices followed by e-commerce food aggregators.

The restaurant industry consists of lakhs of small businesses, mostly run by small and family entrepreneurs, and their interests need to be kept in mind while looking at this issue,” Singh added.

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