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Will Launch Of Zomato Gold In Delivery Fuel Its Feud With NRAI? The issue between Zomato and NRAI may widen as Zomato extends its Gold feature to its delivery segment.

By Shreya Ganguly

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The disagreement between Zomato and National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) may widen as Zomato extends its Gold feature to its delivery segment. Now the gold users will be able to use their membership privileges while ordering food delivery.

In an official statement, the food aggregator said that currently Zomato Gold for dining-out and delivery is available 16 cities. However, the feature will be rolled out to 25 more cities by next week. "Existing members of Zomato Gold will have access to food delivery privileges for no additional charges along with some FUP (Fair Usage Policy) revisions in their existing membership. Existing members will be limited to two "unlocks" per day (one dining-out and one delivery). Membership will also be limited to a single device per person," the statement noted.

However this move may fuel the disagreement in between food aggregators and the restaurants. NRAI President Anurag Katriar, has termed the launch as a desperate attempt to "shore up the sinking fortunes of their flagship Zomato Gold programme". "Dining out" but now it is being extended on deliveries too! Essentially, it is now a program that merely promotes deep discounts on both dine-in and delivery verticals, the cost of which is borne solely by the restaurant partners," Katriar said in a statement.

According to NRAI, the foodtech company revised the terms of use but did not pay attention to the issue of deep discounting. It also mentioned that the #Logout movement will thus continue.

According to Zomato, the Gold on Delivery feature will offer the second-highest priced item on the order free, except for combos, MRP items and special dishes. It will be applicable on minimum order values of INR 300 with discount capped to INR 300 per order. Also, the new users will pay INR 1800 for an annual package to access the dining out and delivery privileges.

NRAI's Follow-up Meeting With The Foodtech Giants

This development comes after Zomato and Swiggy presented concrete roadmap to deal with issues related to deep discounting, lack of transparency, during the follow-up meeting with NRAI which was held on September 13, 2019. NRAI had stated at that time that no significant progress was made about the issues with Zomato Gold.

In August, NRAI had met the food aggregators who had written letters to them highlighting eight issues including deep discounts, high and uneven commission charges, arbitrary terms and conditions, private labels etc, faced by restaurants due to the foodtech companies.

The association had begun the #Logout campaign to protest against predatory pricing and heavy discounting practices by the food aggregators. Following this, several restaurants had de-listed themselves from the platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, and Dineout's Gourmet Passport.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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