Over the last few weeks, foodtech industry had been in the middle of intense discussions about concerns of restaurants, associations, and aggregators as well as delivery companies. Another meeting is scheduled for Friday, September 13 between executives from Swiggy and Zomato with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).
The meeting is reportedly a follow up to discussions that ensued last month between the two parties. Senior executives at Swiggy and Zomato met NRAI representatives on August 29 to discuss the grievances of restaurants listed on these platforms. Issues like deep discounting, high and uneven commission charges, data hiding and mandatory bundling of services like fleet delivery, marketing were discussed in the meeting.
The parties had reached an “in-principle agreement” and had decided to schedule another meeting by the second week of September to discuss the issue even further. The cap on commissions was also discussed in the meeting with NRAI, but the restaurants had insisted on a matrix-like structure.
NRAI, in the press statement after the meeting, appreciated Swiggy’s “constructive approach” claiming that the company understood the viewpoints. Swiggy had promised to come up with an actionable plan for the next meeting. At the time, a Zomato spokesperson had said, “We discussed all the issues faced by the industry and agreed to work towards solutions sustainable for all participants.”
The upcoming meeting may set the tone for how aggregators set their terms and conditions and give in to the demands made by restaurants.
For those unfamiliar with the protracted battle between restaurants and apps, the trouble began in August when over 300 restaurants under NRAI started a #Logout campaign. Restaurants in Gurugram delisted themselves from platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner, Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, Nearbuy, MagicPin among others. The association had highlighted issues such as “unreasonably high commissions, payment terms and arbitrarily applied additional charges” they’ve been charged to be a part of the inventory.
The protest soon expanded to over 1200 restaurants across major cities, and the heated discussions led to restaurants agreeing to change their features to lower discounts offered.
Over the last few weeks, NRAI has consistently called for changes in the way food delivery apps and restaurant platforms work. After calling out the problems in the food delivery and dining-out segment, the body had proposed six constructive steps for aggregators.