Founder Goyal admits to 'mistakes', plans to alter Zomato Gold scheme

Succumbing to pressure from around 2,000 restaurants across the country that refused to continue with the Zomato platform, the food delivery firm’s founder Deepinder Goyal, in a series of tweets, admitted that his company made mistakes with its premium subscription service ‘Gold’ and would make changes to the appease restaurants.

Making changes in the Gold subscription service had also been one of the long standing demands of Zomato’s biggest investors.

 
Thousands of restaurants throughout the country took part in the ‘#Logout protest’ mainly against Zomato, led by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI). They cited skyrocketing overhead costs caused by deep discounting schemes and loss of reputation in the form of negative ratings from customers’ as reasons for leaving the platform’s premium subscription service. 

 
Protests were held in large markets like Gurgaon, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai.


A large number of restaurant owners, throughout these cities, pasted posters outside their entrances telling customers that they cannot avail Zomato Gold benefits any more.

Zomato is open to working with the industry to modify its Gold programme and come up with a solution for restaurants and customers, Goyal said on Saturday.

“Somewhere, we have made mistakes and things haven’t gone as planned. This is a wake-up call that we need to do 100x more for our restaurant partners than we have done before,” Goyal tweeted, referring to the ongoing protest. He urged restaurant owners to protest against the deal-based schemes offered by restaurant aggregator apps.

Goyal added that his Gurgaon-based company was “committed to work with the industry and make modifications to Zomato Gold that will result in a win-win situation for restaurants and consumers. Last year, we changed some rules around Gold after hearing about concerns of the restaurant community.”


Goyal said in his tweets that while Gold “has been a major hit, we understand that bargain hunters have also joined Zomato Gold and they are hurting some segments.”

Zomato Gold began last year as an exclusive, invite-only service, targeted at high-end restaurants serving niche customers who may already be their patrons.

“I am sad that young entrepreneurs (like me) in the restaurant industry are feeling the pressure to such an extent that they had to launch such a campaign.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 said.

He further requested the restaurant community to look at ways to bring down operating and delivery costs. NRAI president Rahul Singh could not be reached for comment.


According to sources in the know, major investors since last year have said Gold should either go through a major brand revamp or its operations be gradually shut down.