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Zomato suspends its Infinity Dining programme amid protests by restaurants

Zomato said that the programme has been taken off the app following a range of feedback that they are trying to incorporate.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 13, 2019  | 13:18 IST
Zomato suspends its Infinity Dining programme amid protests by restaurants
Zomato suspends Infinity Dining programme

Food delivery and search platform Zomato has taken off its latest programme Infinity Dining from its app. This move comes amid a battle with restaurants protesting against deep discounting offered by the platform. Zomato said that the programme has been taken off the app following a range of feedback that they are trying to incorporate.

A Zomato spokesperson said, "We received a range of feedback about Infinity Dining, and have paused it as we would incorporate the feedback." Infinity Dining was launched two months ago in three cities with 300-plus restaurants. The programme allowed Zomato Gold subscribers to order unlimited food and drinks for a set price from the menu of the restaurant for a period of time.

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) that has been at loggerheads with Zomato over its discounting practices has called this move a "huge victory". "Infinity was the tipping point of the logout campaign. It is a huge victory for restaurant companies that it has been withdrawn," said NRAI Mumbai head Anurag Katriar, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.

The restaurant association started the logout movement in August 14, after which many restaurants left platforms such as Zomato. In the following days, about 2,000 restaurants stated that they would not be part of any "1+1" deals or where they had signed up for 50 per cent discounts on food and drinks.

Much of NRAI's protestations are directed at Zomato, whose 'Gold' programme offers complimentary food and drinks to diners.

Apart from deep discounting, restaurant owners are also battling platforms' use of data to determine food preferences and in turn start their own cloud kitchens. "Using big data, the aggregators have figured out what dishes sell more in what region. Then they have created dark kitchens (cloud kitchens). If a consumer searches for pizza, what is stopping them from diverting the traffic to their kitchen? It is use of a dominant position. It's scary what these guys are trying," a restaurant owner had earlier told BusinessToday.In.

Also read: BT Buzz: What's triggered 'logout' movement in Zomato vs restaurants fight

Also read: NRAI all set to address issues around food delivery aggregators

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