- The “all-you-can-eat” model of the Infinity Dining program has been taken down.
- Infinity Dining by Zomato was launched in three cities with 300 + restaurants just over two months ago.
- This comes after a #Logout campaign by Zomato’s partner restaurants last month.
In the midst of the fight with restaurants over what they said was “profound and unsustainable” discounting, Zomato finally suspended the controversial Infinity Dining program from its app.
The “all-you-can-eat” model of the Infinity Dining program was the biggest bone of contention between the Gurgaon-based Zomato and restaurants.
Earlier, as part of a #Logout campaign, about 1200 restaurants in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, Pune and Vadodara entered platforms including Zomato, EazyDiner, Nearbuy, MagicPin and Gourmet Passport, claiming their company models were hurt by “unsustainable” profound discount provided by aggregators and table booking services.
A spokesman for Zomato verified the move saying “We received and paused a range of feedback on Infinity Dining as we incorporated the feedback.
Infinity Dining was launched in three cities with 300 + restaurants just over two months ago. It permitted Zomato Gold subscribers for a restricted period of time to order unlimited food and drinks at a fixed cost from the partner restaurant menu. Restaurants said their profit margins were squeezed.
“The final straw was the effort by Zomato to sell the Infinity Dining in the Gold membership. We’re not at all amazed that it shut down — it had to, “said Rahul Singh, president of the Indian National Restaurant Association (NRAI). “On the one side, NRAI advocates water and other resource conservation, and on the other, we get a misconceived product that encourages waste.”
Additionally, the food aggregators and delivery partners have agreed to discuss problems such as profound discounting, elevated and uneven commission fees, information masking, and compulsory bundling of restaurant sector services. There is an arrangement in principle to address these problems within a particular timeline. In the second week of September, they are tentatively planned to meet again to update the reform advancement.
Restaurant companies belonging to NRAI have told they will not rejoin Zomato unless it makes changes to the Gold dine-in program. While Zomato has said it will rework Gold to drive better profit margins for restaurant partners and offered multiple steps to improve the programme, restaurant companies said key issues haven’t yet been addressed.
The spokesman for Zomato, however, said 10 percent of India’s 6,500-plus restaurants that were Zomato Gold members had left but many had joined.
This move by Zomato shows that it exists because of the restaurants and how a union can pressurize a well-established venture to take such an extreme step. Well, only time will tell whether this turns out to be a lifesaver for Zomato. It will be interesting to have an eye on the number of restaurants rejoining the Gold Membership.