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Deep discounts: Restaurants, online food aggregators battle it out

Nearly 300 restaurants in Gurgaon on Thursday observed a #Logout campaign, delisting themselves from platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner and Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, among others.

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New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) With hundreds of restaurants under the umbrella of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) coming out in the open to challenge the deep discounting practices of online food aggregators like Zomato Gold and Dineout, the war over who controls the palate of Indians has intensified.

Nearly 300 restaurants in Gurgaon on Thursday observed a #Logout campaign, delisting themselves from platforms such as Zomato Gold, EazyDiner and Dineout’s Gourmet Passport, among others.

According to NRAI president Rahul Singh, the situation is now aggravated through the anytime, anywhere, any day discounting behaviour by aggregators.

The game is on as according to a recent study by business consultancy firm Market Research Future, the online food ordering market in India is likely to grow at over 16 per cent annually to touch $17.02 billion by 2023.

The findings showed that 95 per cent of the respondents surveyed order food online, owing to promotional offers and discounts, while 84 per cent said it is hassle-free and time-saving.

According to Ankit Mehrotra, Co-founder and CEO, Dineout, being the largest dining out and tech platform in the country, his company is always looking to build a more sustainable and viable ecosystem for both its restaurant partners and the users using the Dineout platform.

“As a platform, we certainly don’t believe in the concept of deep discounting. On our platform, we have persisted with sustainable discounts which works really well for both the consumer as well as the restaurants to fill up their restaurants throughout the day,” Mehrotra said in a statement.

“Over and beyond, even our premium offering of Gourmet Passport limits the redemption to only three coupons per restaurant. In consultation with the restaurants, we run promotional campaigns for shorter durations ( and not through the year) such as the “Great Indian Restaurant Festival” which gives a higher discount to the consumer but for only limited covers per restaurant per day,” Mehrotra elaborated.

Zomato didn’t reply to an email sent to them.

Home-grown restaurant search and delivery platform Zomato last month introduced the “Infinity Dining” plan for its “Gold” subscribers that allows them to have unlimited a la carte at partner restaurants.

It said its Gold subscription programme has grown almost 100 per cent in the past eight months. The plan has been introduced in partnership with 350 restaurants – with at least a 3.5 rating — in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

However, the restaurants under the NRAI in Delhi and Mumbai have also threatened to delist from online dining platforms.

Last month, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) officials met representatives from online food delivery firms and offline industry leaders and directed them to sit and solve their differences and boost equitable growth in the industry.

The meeting was called to discuss issues such as deep discounting and opening up of private label brands by the online food platforms that has affected the operations of offline restaurants across the country.

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Business

Samsung ‘Galaxy Fold’ coming to India on Oct 1

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New Delhi, Sep 24 : Samsung is finally bringing its much-anticipated and most-premium smartphone “Galaxy Fold” to India on October 1 — just a month after its global debut in South Korea — highly-placed sources told IANS on Tuesday.

The smartphone-cum-tablet “Galaxy Fold” smartphone is likely to be priced between Rs 1.5 lakh-Rs 1.75 lakh in India. It will be sold through select retail outlets and will be available only via pre-book mode, the sources added.

Galaxy Fold will come with exclusive access to specialized customer care services – including one-on-one access to Samsung experts, and a 24/7 support hub online or over the phone.

The smartphone was originally set to be released on April 26 but the manufacturer delayed it to fix units that experienced display issues.

Galaxy Fold comes with a 7.3-inch Infinity Flex Display and six cameras. The device has a secondary 4.6-inch screen on the cover of the phone. It opens up with 7.3-inch infinity flex display and when closed, it becomes 4.6 inch display with a 12:9 ratio.

The premium smartphone is backed by 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core SoC, paired with 12GB of RAM and 512GB storage.

“Galaxy Fold” combines consumers’ favourite smartphone and tablet features to deliver a new kind of experience — from a new form factor and materials to its unique foldable UX, versatile camera and premium performance.

“Consumers have responded positively to larger screens, and the Galaxy Fold’s revolutionary form factor offers a bigger, more immersive screen without sacrificing portability. This is what we call innovation of new mobile experience in action,” DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics said in a statement recently.

Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s fourth 5G smartphone, following the Galaxy S10, Note 10 and A90, reinforcing its product portfolio for the ultra-fast network.

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RBI bars PMC Bank from business transactions

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Mumbai, Sep 24 The Reserve Bank of India has placed the Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative Bank Ltd, Mumbai from carrying out any kind of business transactions, here on Tuesday, sparking panic among the banks depositors and sending shock waves in city trading community.

The apex bank’s Chief General Manager Yogesh Dayal said that as per the RBI directions, depositors cannot withdraw more than Rs 1,000 of the total balance in their savings/current/other deposit accounts.

The PMC Bank has been barred from granting, renewing and loans and advances, make any investments, accept fresh deposits, etc, without the prior written approval from RBI.

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End of Boeing 737 MAX grounding up to individual countries, says US FAA

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Two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft crashed over the past year — the first in Indonesia in October 2018 and the second in Ethiopia in March. The second tragedy led to world aviation authorities and carriers either grounding all 737 MAX series aircraft or closing their airspace to them.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Monday that the FAA continues to follow a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the aircraft to passenger service, adding that “aach government will make its own decision to return the aircraft to service, based on a thorough safety assessment”.

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