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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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BSNL employees plan hunger strike on Monday

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020, it said and added it was quite grim situation for employees.

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : The All Unions and Associations of BSNL (AUAB) has decided to organise a country-wide hunger strike on February 24 for early implementation of the cabinet decisions on the Bharat Sanchar Nigam’s revival.

The strike is also aimed at putting pressure for the expeditious settlement of employees’ grievances, according to an AUAB statement here on Saturday.

Last year the cabinet approved a Rs 69,000 crore revival package for both BSNL and MTNL. The salient features of the package included allotment of 4G spectrum, issuing sovereign guarantee for raising Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 8,500 for BSNL and Rs 6,500 for MTNL) funds via long-term bonds, monetisation of assets and implementation of voluntary retirement scheme.

Of these, only the VRS has been implemented and 78,569 BSNL employees have been sent home. The BSNL has not been allotted 4G spectrum. Similarly, the sovereign guarantee is awaited. The process of monetisation of BSNL’s assets is also moving slowly, according to the statement.

The Supreme Court’s recent judgement on the AGR calculation had created uncertainties in the telecom sector, due to which banks were unwilling to extend loans to BSNL, the AUAB said.

Due to the delay in the 4G spectrum allotment and non-availability of funds, BSNL was unlikely to launch 4G services by the end of 2020, it said and added it was quite grim situation for employees.

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OYO announces bug bounty programme to strengthen security

OYO has accordingly developed an improved responsible disclosure policy to encourage honest and responsible reporting of any potential risks.

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New Delhi, Feb 22 : Hospitality unicorn OYO has said that it will introduce a bug bounty programme towards ensuring that there is a credible and continuous flow of positive feedback from independent security groups and individual researchers to mitigate against any bug or shortfall in the company’s systems.

This is in line with the established practice of recognition and reward for ethical hackers who help responsibly investigate shortfalls within the tech architecture of several tech companies including the likes of Facebook, Google etc., OYO said in a statement this week.

OYO has accordingly developed an improved responsible disclosure policy to encourage honest and responsible reporting of any potential risks.

Additionally, OYO has partnered with a specialised cybersecurity startup, AppSecure/Hackerhive, that connects companies and ethical hackers to help the former discover and fix security vulnerabilities.

“In today’s digital world, a cyberattack is a real concern. Hence, in line with our efforts to continually improve, we are investing in ethical hacking programmes as well,” said Anil Goel, Group Chief Technology and Product Officer at OYO.

OYO said it has also joined hands with other technology companies to address the issue of increasing online frauds and save guests from cybercrimes.

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Fiscal deficit as GDP percentage touched 4.56% in Dec: Finance Ministry data

Out of total government expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, which is 76 per cent of the BE, revenue expenditure was Rs 18.54 lakh crore and capital expenditure Rs 2.55 lakh crore.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Feb 21 : Fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP touched 4.56 per cent as of December 2019 with total receipts pegged at Rs 11.77 lakh crore against a higher expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, data of government accounts showed.

For the fiscal 2019-20 (till March 31, 2020), the fiscal deficit has been revised to 3.8 per cent now.

Gross tax collection was Rs 13.83 lakh crore (53 per cent of the Budget estimates). The net tax revenue of the Central government was at Rs 9.04 lakh crore which was 55 per cent of the BE, after deducting devolution to the states to the tune of Rs 4.76 lakh crore and Rs 2,480 crore towards NDRF.

The non-tax revenue accrued to the Centre was Rs 2.41 lakh crore whereas other receipts were pegged at Rs 31,000 crore. The government released Rs 54,621.14 crore to the states as their share in central taxes and duties as well as Rs 6,989.38 crore as recommended by the Finance Commission in January.

In December 2019, the states received Rs 7,499.89 crore as recommended by the Finance Commission and the government released Rs 2,714.03 crore towards various schemes. In January 2020, the states received much lower Rs 101.29 crore.

Out of total government expenditure of Rs 21.09 lakh crore, which is 76 per cent of the BE, revenue expenditure was Rs 18.54 lakh crore and capital expenditure Rs 2.55 lakh crore.

Fiscal deficit was pegged at Rs 8.07 lakh crore, which was 11 per cent of BE.

“As a percentage of the GDP, fiscal deficit is 4.56 per cent. The revenue receipts are sufficient to cover only 56 per cent of the expenditure,” the Accounts Review Report of the Finance Ministry said.

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