Restaurant body National Restaurants Association of India is planning to launch an app similar to the ones used by food delivery aggregators in an attempt to take on Swiggy and Zomato. NRAI aims to launch the app within two months amid an escalating faceoff between restaurants and delivery apps.
NRAI President Anurag Katriar said that they are looking to launch the app by August-September. “We are in the final stages of finalising details with an established tech partner to whom we are outsourcing the back-end management,” he said, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times. NRAI represents over 5 lakh restaurants across the country.
The app will offer a loyalty programme to consumers in order to counter private aggregators. Consumers will not have to pay for the app, unlike in loyalty apps such as Zomato Gold. They will be able to encash loyalty points at restaurants for dine-ins.
At a time when the restaurant industry was completely dependent on deliveries, apps like Swiggy and Zomato amassed record profits.
However, NRAI has been protesting the deep discounts offered by private aggregators. On Monday, NRAI approached the Competition Commission of India and sought resolution in the matter.
“During the (Covid-19) pandemic, the magnitude of anti-competitive practices of Zomato and Swiggy have increased manifold and despite numerous discussions with them, these deep funded marketplace platforms are not interested in alleviating concerns of the restaurants. We have been in constant dialogue with food service aggregators over the last 15-18 months to resolve critical issues impacting the sector. However, we have not been able to resolve these issues; we have therefore approached the CCI now to look into the matter and investigate them thoroughly,” said Katriar on Monday.
NRAI has also protested in the past against programmes such as Zomato Gold that offer a free beverage or dish for the cost of one but leave it to the restaurants to bear the cost. The restaurants body kicked off campaigns and urged restaurants to drop Zomato Gold that resulted in many eateries logging out of the programme.
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