500,000+ Restaurants Will Challenge Swiggy, Zomato By Launching Their Own Food Ordering App!
As the spat between the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and the duopoly of Zomato and Swiggy gets uglier, it appears that NRAI could launch its own food ordering app.
NRAI, representing the interests of 500000+ restaurants nationwide, accused Zomato and Swiggy of using unfair business practices.
Their questionable conduct includes deep discounting, data masking and violation of platform neutrality.
To that effect, NRAI reached out to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) requesting resolution of the matter.
NRAI President Anurag Katriar said that Zomato and Swiggy took full advantage of the pandemic and exploited the helplessness of restaurants.
Discussions with the apps over the last 15-18 months bore no fruit as they failed to display any concern on their part in protecting restaurants’ interests.
By bringing CCI into the matter, NRAI hopes that a thorough investigation into the apps’ anti-competitive practices will begin.
App Coming Soon
Plans to develop a unique app was already being made last year, but many aspects needed fine tuning
But now, this plan is back on the table with full force as launch of the proprietary app could happen between August and September.
Katriar confirmed that the industry body is in the “final stages of finalising details with an established tech partner to whom we are outsourcing the backend management.”
The app will be owned by NRAI but managed by an external partner.
It will offer discounts and loyalty rewards to tackle the dominance of private aggregators.
No Paid Premium Features
Unlike Zomato and Swiggy’s paid loyalty programs, customers will not have to pay for premium services and can encash their loyalty points anywhere.
These programmes were also objected to by NRAI as they offer a free beverage or dish but leave it to the restaurants to bear the cost.
In protest, many eateries have exited the programme.
Losses And Wins From The Pandemic
The popularity of food delivery apps has soared to new heights as the majority of the population are confined to their homes.
Restaurants also had to resort to these apps since it was the only way to ensure business continuity.
Despite using this source of revenue, the restaurant industry has suffered tremendous losses.
Insiders have said that the current state of the industry is such that profits have vanished and restaurants are being forced to shutter.
Amidst all this, delivery apps are enjoying the rise in their fortunes.