Online food ordering app Zomato had its share of troubles in India in recent days. In the wake of its recent trouble with restaurants over deep discounts under its Zomato Gold scheme, the company has reached out to restaurants with an assurance to make certain changes to its exclusive dine-out and social drinking membership programme. Zomato Gold membership includes certain perks like a complimentary dish or up to 2 complimentary drinks at select restaurants. This has come in less than a week after thousands of restaurants across major states in India participated in the #LogOut campaign and de-listed themselves from the programme.
The restaurant industry body National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said the restructuring of the Zomato Gold scheme would not resolve the key issue of deep discounts. The NRAI also noted that its members would continue to stay logged out. So far, over 2,000 restaurants have logged out from the Zomato Gold scheme and similar dine-out programmes offered by other platforms. These restaurants have claimed that deep discounting offers by Zomato were hurting their business.
Zomato has sent out mass emails to its restaurant partners highlighting how to limit the use of its Gold scheme. Zomato will put the restrictions on users by limiting the Gold usage by a single user to one unlock per day. This way, Zomato is looking to bring the net discount down by limiting users to one unlock per day across all the restaurants that fall under Zomato Gold. Zomato will also restrict a user's login ID to a single mobile device at a time to restrict login sharing.
"Going forward we are going to restrict the number of unlocks to a max of two per table," the letter by the company's founder Deepinder Goyal said.
Zomato urged restaurants to enforce these changes from September 15 onwards. Zomato also offered to waive the sign-up fee for restaurants to bring them back to its Zomato Gold programme.
"All restaurants that dropped out of Gold during the logout campaign and sign back up on Gold before August 26 - they will not need to pay the sign-up fee to return back to the program", Zomato said in the letter.
"We commit to not sell Gold at anything less than Rs 1,800 for an annual membership. We have also discontinued the trial packs for Gold that we recently launched to ensure that restaurants got only a high quality user base via gold."
The letter also said that the company would help the restaurants to grow their revenue more sustainably with various schemes it plans to launch.
(With agency inputs)