In a dramatic turn of events, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal has shared screenshots to show that The Beer Cafe -- one of India's largest Beer chains -- is running a scheme, which is somewhat similar to Zomato Gold -- the company's member-only dine-out and social drinking programme. In what is even more interesting about Goyal's tweets, The Beer Cafe is owned and operated by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) president Rahul Singh. Of late, NRAI has been very critical of Zomato over discounts it offers to users under Zomato Gold. NRAI also happens to be among the most active participants and prominent voices of the #LogOut campaign. NRAI has encouraged thousands of restaurants to de-list themselves from Zomato Gold and similar programmes offered by other food aggregators in India.
Goyal shared a letter on Twitter on what he thinks about the on-going trouble with thousands of restaurants across major Indian cities.
Here’s what I think is going on – pic.twitter.com/bo4DQTe3Qb— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) August 22, 2019
"This proves that Rahul Singh, is not really against deep discounts, as these discounts are being offered on his own brand, on his own app.
On a democratised platform like Zomato, large restaurant owners have to compete with independent restaurants on a hyperlocal basis, and are not able to leverage their large presence to pull more distribution/profits.
An aggregator's most important job is to level the playing field for everyone. 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.
This logout campaign as it seems now, is driven by Rahul Singh, along with participation of a few large restaurant owners, to use the NRAI platform to sabotage aggregators and benefit themselves.
We stand by the changes we are making to Gold, they are in supreme interest of our restaurant partners and valued members – it helps everyone win."
Taking a jibe at the #LogOut campaign, Goyal said Zomato is logging out of the logout campaign.
"We have said enough and we are getting back to work. I am confident better business sense will prevail at the end," Goyal said in his tweet.
Zomato is logging out of the logout campaign. We have said enough and we are getting back to work. I am confident better business sense will prevail at the end.— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) August 22, 2019
Over 2,000 restaurants logged out from the Zomato Gold scheme and similar dine-out programmes offered by other platforms as part of the #LogOut movement. These restaurants have claimed that deep discounting offers by Zomato and other food aggregator apps were hurting their business. Meanwhile, Zomato has also reached out to restaurants with an assurance to make certain changes to its Zomato Gold programme.