Restaurants cheer as Zomato halts its Infinity Dining programme

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Zomato has finally caved in and discontinued its Infinity Dining programme, which had become a sticking point in its battle with protesting restaurants who said the aggregator’s deep discounting was hurting their bottomlines,  reports The Economic Times.

Confirming this development, a spokesperson for the food delivery platform said the programme has been “paused as we incorporate the feedback received.”

Launched in over 300 restaurants in three cities a little over two months back, the programme offered Zomato Gold subscribers the option of ‘all you can eat’ from a set menu.

“The programme is in the alpha stage and being tested continuously. The focus of Infinity was to enable more of these opportunities for restaurants. Group dining is a valuable large-table opportunity,” the article quotes the spokesperson as saying.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The programme attracted protests from restaurants over the ‘deep and unsustainable’ discount model, which culminated in the ‘logout’ campaign from August 15.

Dubbing it ‘a huge victory for restaurant companies’, Anurag Katriar, the NRAI Mumbai Chapter Head and Executive Director of deGustibus Hospitality, said, “Infinity was the tipping point of the logout campaign.”

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) President Rahul Singh said he was not surprised that the programme shut down.

Other food platforms such as Dineout, Easydiner, Magicpin and Nearbuy had placated the NRAI much earlier, but Zomato has taken its time.

Prior to halting Infinity Dining, the company also deferred a proposal to extend Gold membership to online delivery. Zomato said it would rework Gold to drive better profit margins for its restaurant partners.

However, restaurants partners said key issues had not been addressed.

“Swiggy and Zomato have agreed to discuss issues of deep discounting, high and uneven commission charges, data masking and mandatory bundling of services which are crippling the restaurant industry,” Katriar said.

“There is an in-principle agreement to resolve these issues within a specific timeline. We are tentatively scheduled to reconvene in the second week of September to update the reformation progress,” he added.

[“source=moneycontrol”]

Author: Eric