“Somewhere, we have made mistakes and things haven’t gone as planned. This is a wake up call that we need to do 100x more for our restaurant partners than we have done before,” tweeted Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on August 17, after about 1,200 restaurants reportedly 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. Interestingly, Goyal, in his 8-point thread, also said that the restaurant industry should look for ways to “reduce operating costs, so that eating out becomes more affordable for consumers”. He also said that while Gold has been a “major hit”, certain “bargain hunters” have joined the platform and are hurting “some segments of the restaurant industry very badly”. He also wrote that he was upset that “the restaurant industry are feeling the pressure to such an extent that they had to launch such a campaign”.

In response to MediaNama’s queries, a Zomato spokesperson said:

“We have reached out to our restaurant partners to hear their concerns, and have offered our full support. It pains us to see that we could not create a sustainable Gold program for all, one which works as well for restaurants as it does for consumers. We urge our restaurant partners to work with us in resolving this.” – Zomato

The National Restaurant Association of India (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”. Initially, over 300 restaurants in Gurugram said they were logging out of these offer driven paid membership programs, according to a Mint report. MediaNama has reached out to EazyDiner and NRAI for comment and will update this when they reply.

Following the protest, Zomato sent an email to partner restaurants asking them to comply with their contract, which requires them to serve a 45-day notice period before de-listing themselves from the service per a Mint report. The email also said that restaurants will have to pay a sign-up fee in case they wanted to log back in to Zomato Gold. Meanwhile, according to the same report, NRAI president, Rahul Singh said that while four aggregators had reached out to the association for a truce on the matter, it was yet to hear from Zomato.