After facing continuous backlash from restaurant partners over deep discounting by restaurant table reservation platforms, Zomato has taken a series of measures to stop misuse of Zomato Gold subscription. The company is limiting Gold usage by a single user to one unlock per day with restriction to a max of two per table.
Zomato also hiked the annual Gold subscription cost by 50%. So far, it was selling a premium subscription at Rs 1,199. Now, it costs Rs 1,800. The firm already had reflected new pricing for Gold subscription on its website.
Zomato will restrict a user’s Gold login ID to a single mobile device at a time so that login sharing becomes impossible. Introduction of features to block sharing of unlocking screens over Whatsapp is also on the card.
According to a detailed document sent to restaurant partners and representing bodies including the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), the firm is also discontinuing the trial packs for Gold that it recently launched.
Entrackr has a copy of the proposal sent by Zomato to NRAI.
Responding to changes made in Gold subscription, NRAI stated that this is a knee jerk reaction to the #logout movement and the meeting held between the founding team of Zomato and Management committee members of NRAI.
“It’s a validation of the fact that Zomato acknowledges the deep discounting epidemic. However, the ‘reconstruct of gold’ is another attempt to stuff old wine in a new bottle. It’s a tweak in the drug, which doesn’t solve the addiction. We stand united in the cause to obliviate the deep discounting phenomenon, and will therefore #stayloggedout,” mentioned the statement.
According to Zomato proposal, Gold restaurants that have a minimum of 1,000 Gold unlock per quarter per outlet with an average cumulative rating of 4.5+ for Gold visits during that quarter, will get ads credit worth Rs 25,000 per outlet per quarter from Zomato to promote their brand and drive non-discounted business.
Zomato would invest in the brand of Gold partners who have a minimum of 600 subscriptions unlocks per quarter. Boycotting the Gold subscription several thousand restaurants had logged out from Gold partnership. According to a TOI report, about 450 restaurants walked out from contract in Pune alone.
Looking at NRAI stance, it’s clear that Zomato has failed to contain boycott from restaurant partners through revising the Gold plan. The company is likely to tweak the membership with more favours in restaurant partners.
Meanwhile, more favours for restaurants essentially mean less lucrative for consumers. Indeed, Zomato is locked in a tight battle with partners. It would be interesting to see how the company responds to the NRAI call.