Logging out of #logout campaign, getting back to work: Zomato founder

Singling out the president of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) for running discounting schemes on his own restaurant chain Beer Café, Zomato Founder Deepinder Goyal (pictured) tweeted on Thursday that the food aggregator will no longer engage with restaurants in the ongoing #logout campaign.

The tweets led to both Rahul Singh, founder of Beer Café and Goyal exchanging barbs. 

Zomato is logging out of the #logout campaign. We have said enough and we are getting back to work. I am confident better business sense will prevail at the end,” Goyal tweeted, after posting pictures of Beer Café offering a membership programme called Gold, which allows customers to claim 1+1 on food or drinks in different packages. 

Zomato is logging out of the logout campaign. We have said enough and we are getting back to work. I am confident better business sense will prevail at the end.

— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) August 22, 2019
Singh is the president of NRAI, which has led the charge against Zomato’s deep discounting membership-based scheme Zomato Gold. Restaurant bodies have claimed that offering discounting schemes that allow users to claim free drinks and food for an annual fee has led to an influx of bargain hunters to their outlets and also hit their bottom lines.

After Goyal’s tweet, Singh thanked Goyal for making the Beer Café brand go viral, and offered him a ‘virtual beer’ through the Beer Café app. The ongoing tussle between Zomato and restaurants came to a head on Wednesday when Zomato shared a Gold modification plan that addressed some of these issues. However, NRAI rejected the proposal, saying the move from exclusive membership to being available to everyone has made Gold lose its sheen. 

“We stand united in the cause to obliviate the deep discounting phenomenon, and will therefore #stayloggedout,” the NRAI said in a statement on Wednesday.

Responding a day later, Goyal said an aggregator’s job is to level the playing field. “This #logout campaign as it seems now is driven by Rahul Singh, along with participation of a few large restaurant owners, to use the NRAI platform to sabotage aggregators and benefit themselves.”

In response, Singh said that the Gold scheme being offered by Beer Café for its top 500 customers is a loyalty programme and has existed since 2014. It offers special privileges like personalised mugs, curated menus, and brewery tours to 500 Beer Café members handpicked by its staff, he added. 

“As India’s largest beer chain spread in 13 cities, we understand the importance of loyalty as it has to be earned, not purchased. BeerOcrat is a privilege programme for a select few, which we enable based on the loyalty lifecycle of our guests... As a brand owner, we have the right to provide privileges to our loyalists. Brokers cannot enjoy the same right as owners!” said Singh. 

Discovery platform magicpin also expressed support for NRAI. 

 
"Magicpin continues to extend support to NRAI and all restaurants in their cause against deep discounting. We believe all restaurants are pro use of technology to get new and repeat business. Their issue is against unsustainable deep discounting and magicpin is there to support them at a price point that suits their needs," it said in a statement.

Magicpin charges a base commission of 10 per cent, letting the merchant decide how much they want to top up.