Minister of Railways and Commerce Piyush Goyal said last week that he would like to “intervene” between Zomato and the restaurants in order to help them resolve their issues. According to The Economic Times, Goyal suggested that restaurateurs and food aggregators sort the issues among themselves and he can intervene if they want. “I would suggest that you sort it out quickly amongst yourselves, and if you can’t, I am happy to intervene,” Goyal said.
The tussle between Zomato and restaurants
The NRAI had started a #Logout campaign on August 14 claiming that it was protesting “against aggregators who have distorted a vibrant marketplace by aggressive discounting and predatory pricing”. In the aftermath of this campaign, Goyal had tweeted, on August 17, that Zomato had made “mistakes” and things hadn’t gone according to plan. He said that they needed to “do 100x more for our restaurant partners than we have done before”. As many as 1,200 restaurants had de-listed themselves from platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, and Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, among others. These restaurants were protesting against discounts being offered by such platforms.
During the campaign, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal called out NRAI President and The Beer Café founder Rahul Singh about his restaurant’s own “Gold” programme. Taking to Twitter, Goyal said that Singh wasn’t “against deep discounts, as these discounts [were] being offered on his own brand, on his own app”. “This is not about aggregators vs restaurants; this is about the small restaurant owner vs the large restaurant owner — and we are being painted as bullies”.
According to a Livemint report, now almost 2,500 restaurants have de-listed themselves from the food aggregating platforms to protest against discount practises. The NRAI also said that it will soon introduce an intense movement to stop the “unethical” practices being adopted by the food aggregators.