New Delhi: Two national restaurant associations are set to meet food aggregators in a bid to resolve issues such as deep discounting, contracts and commissions, which have triggered a confrontation between them.

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said it has asked aggregators to engage in a fruitful dialogue at the earliest to arrive at a win-win outcome for all, failing which it warned of nationwide protests. In a letter to Zomato, Swiggy, Nearbuy, Dineout, Eazy-Diner and Magicpin, the federation said it had called for a review of all their schemes.

“We continue to stand united on ending the epidemic of deep discounting once and for all,” said Rahul Singh, president, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI). “Over the next two days, meetings have been aligned with all five aggregators. These will be attended by (their) founders and NRAI’s national management committee members, who represent all formats of the restaurant sector.” The move towards talks came two days after online delivery and dine-in aggregator Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal said restaurant owners should stop their campaign to quit aggregators so customers don’t suffer. “In the interest of consumers, we request restaurant owners, to stop the logout campaign, and have a collaborative discussion with internet aggregators for finding a sustainable way forward,” Goyal tweeted late Saturday night. He also tweeted that Zomato is “committed to work with the industry” and make modifications to Zomato Gold. “What’s good for restaurants is good for Zomato. What’s good for consumers is good for Zomato. Finding the right balance and product market fit is the restaurant industry’s problem (and that includes us),” Goyal said in another tweet.

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As per FHRAI, 75% of its members have opted out of Zomato Gold, a programme where customers pay an annual fee to avail of discounts at member restaurants. Restaurants say that apart from the anytime-anywhere-any day discounting behaviour of aggregators, the increasing rentals and denial of input tax credit were severely denting profitability. Under programmes started by online food aggregators, restaurants pay for the discounts and the freebies offered.

“A model contract which is mutually agreed upon has to be accepted,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice president of FHRAI. “Further, the agreement terms are not sacrosanct as they are frequently and unilaterally changed.”





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