Foodtech unicorn Swiggy came into the spotlight for the wrong reasons after some of its disgruntled delivery executives got involved in a skirmish with the staff of Bengaluru-based Empire Hotel and allegedly vandalised the latter’s property on Saturday.
The incident was reportedly triggered by a minor traffic accident. The incident took place after the vehicles of Swiggy’s partner delivery executive and a hotel worker brushed against each other near the hotel premises on Bannerghatta Road in Bengaluru. The two men got involved in a heated argument and were separated by traffic police personnel present at the spot. But the matter did not end there as the Swiggy delivery executive then rushed to the hotel along with about 20 supporters.
Following this, reports of the event have varied. While a few reports say that the Swiggy delivery guy and his supporters threw stones at the hotel’s window panes, a Deccan Chronicle report said that the hotel staff allegedly ganged up against the Swiggy’s delivery executive, and the delivery boys of other food delivery app, who were present there, came to his aid and retaliated.
Another media report has cited Empire Hotel’s CEO Shaqir Haq saying, “We have suffered a loss of around INR 12 lakh ($16.9K).”
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A Swiggy company source on the condition of anonymity told Inc42, “They are the delivery executives partner who worked with Swiggy on a principle to principle basis, which means that they are self-employed individuals who have the liberty to log in and log out whenever they want.”
ET cited DCP (southeast) MB Boralingaiah as saying that the Bengaluru Police have arrested around 30 people, including 21 partner delivery executives from Swiggy and the rest comprising the hotel’s staff.
A Swiggy’s spokesperson said: “The incident has been brought to our attention and our team has been in constant touch with the delivery partners and the restaurant ever since. We strongly condemn such acts of aggression and are extending our full support to the investigating authorities in addressing the issue with all the parties involved. We stand by our delivery partners and are ensuring they receive the right medical attention.”
Disgruntled Employees Destroying Company Reputation
This is not the first time Swiggy has been caught in a bad spotlight due to its disgruntled delivery executives. Last year in July, some of its delivery executive partners had allegedly vandalised an eatery joint located in Kalkaji, New Delhi, and also injured one person, over a similar issue.
After the incident, Swiggy had tweeted: “We’re shocked by the turn of events at the south Delhi restaurant. It is unfortunate that the situation escalated in this manner. We have zero tolerance towards any unruly behaviour and have taken immediate and strict action by suspending the members from the mob that were identified as delivery partners…”
Swiggy’s main rival Zomato received flack, after a video of its food delivery executive eating food from boxes he was carrying in a company delivery bag surfaced on social media last year.