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Zomato now removes table reservation fee for restaurants

Just two weeks after slashing commission on food orders for its restaurant partners in India, Zomato has now slashed fee for reservations for its restaurant partners across counties, the company announced in a blog post.

Retrospectively from June 1, 2017 onward, our restaurant partners will not need to pay a “per cover” fee or even a platform fee to accept seamless digital table reservations from Zomato. Yes, the service will be completely free,” Deepinder Goyal, founder and CEO of Zomato wrote in the blog.

From what we know the fee to avail Zomato’s table reservation service was somewhere around Rs 10,000 per month, as in November 2015, in a conference call, Goyal had said that the company charged restaurants a flat fee (of Rs 10,000 per location) on a monthly basis to use the service. However, the pricing was different for different markets, and the current pricing models may be different now.

While all the restaurant partners were not eligible for food order zero commission, and Zomato had some eligibility criteria for that,  nothing like that has been written for table reservation partners in the blogpost. So, it is unclear if this too has any minimum criteria as the blog reads that, “If you are a restaurant owner who receives online reservations through the Zomato platform (or qualify to avail this service), look out for an email (in the next 72 hours) to learn more about this change and what it means for you.”

Table reservation business

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Zomato’s Table reservation service is currently available in four countries- India, UAE, Philippines, and Australia. Goyal claims that the company lists about 1 million table reservations a month, across 4 countries – India, the UAE, the Philippines and Australia. Zomato had launched its restaurant reservation service Zomato Book in January last year. In April 2015, Zomato acquired the US-based restaurant reservations and table-management platform NexTable in a cash and stock deal to start providing this service to its users. Gaurav Gupta leads Zomato’s Table Reservations business.

In a blog post seven month ago (in March 2017), the company said that six months ago, they opened reservations for the top 1000 most visited restaurants in Delhi on Zomato, and in 30 days clocked 16,500 reservations.

Competition: In July, Tripadvisor-backed restaurant reservation app, Eatigo acquired Ressy to launch operations in India, starting with Mumbai and Pune. Other competitors are GroupTable,  Times Internet’s Dineout, and Bookourtable for restaurants among others.

Zomato highlights

Zomato has become aggressive in recent past to up its game in online food services.

When Zomato slashed commission on food orders for its restaurant partners in India last month, it also announced that the restaurant listing and food delivery platform has turned profitable throughout the 24 countries it operates, across all its businesses.

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Apart from over all business, the food tech  company is focusing on its delivery business in a big way.  Last week, the restaurant listing and food delivery company invested an undisclosed amount in Hyderabad-based home-cooked meals startup Tinmen. Two weeks before that it acquired last mile logistics startup Runnr.  Zomato also surpassed 3 million online orders in the month. It also reported food ordering revenues of $9 million for the financial year ended 31st March 2017 (FY17), around 8 times of FY16.

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Writes about e-commerce, social media, tech and Internet ecosystem.

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