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Restaurant owners slam Zomato over rejection policy



A few restaurant owners recently took to social media to point their objections towards food delivery app Zomato’s order rejection/cancellation policy. The policy has been viewed by many as an unfair practice and is the latest instance of friction between the IPO-bound Zomato and restuarants.

On Friday, Riyaaz Amlani, whose Impressio Handmade Restaurant runs Smoke House Deli and Social restaurants, posted on Twitter screenshots of the updated cancellation policy. 

The policy states that in the event of a restaurant rejecting an order, it is liable to pay the customer 25 per cent of the order amount or a minimum of Rs 25 up to Rs 200. As per the document seen in Amlani’s tweet, Zomato also stated that if a restaurant’s daily rejected orders exceeded 3 per cent, its online ordering services would be suspended the following day.

“Wow just wow! Way to be an evangelist for the restaurant community! My friend @deepigoyal and Zomans slow clap! A true support to the restaurant industry when they are facing the most challenging time of their lives! You are a true Tyranicorn! @NRAI_India,” Amlani said in a tweet.

In response, Zomato replied to the tweet, saying that the policy was not new, and had been in practice for 8 months. They claimed that the policy was only for restaurants with a high order rejection rate and that it had “helped reduce rejection rates by 50 per cent.”

Amlani, not pleased with Zomato’s response, mocked it and rendered his own version of what Zomato’s response should have been.

National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) President Anurag Katriar, however, described the policy as “predatory and one-sided.” He claimed that restaurants were not consulted in the making of the policy and those that did not agree with it were threatened with delisting from the app.

He added that an equitable ecommerce policy was a necessity such that “the interests of millions of people (who work in the restaurant industry) are not compromised due to the greed of certain agencies.”

Although affected by the lockdown last year, Zomato and Swiggy saw orders soar towards the end of the year. While many states have introduced curbs to combat the surge in Covid-19 cases, food delivery personnel have been listed as essential workers and are thus exempted from the curbs.

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