Online food delivery major Zomato has rolled out its membership program Zomato Gold, which has been at the centre of restaurants partners logout movement, for home delivery orders.
Now, the users will be able to use their membership to order food delivery. Existing Zomato Gold members will be allowed to use the benefits without any extra charges. New users will have to pay Rs 1,800 for an annual package.
Gold on Delivery offers the second-highest priced item on the order free. Membership will also be limited to a single device per person and discount will be capped to Rs 300 per order.
The company has roped in another 13,000 restaurants for Gold on delivery.
At present, Zomato Gold for dining-out and delivery is available in 16 cities. Zomato plans to extend the services to over 25 cities by next week. Zomato Gold claims to drive about 30% of business for its restaurant partners.
In the last two years, It has added over 1.1 million members and over 6000 restaurant partners.
The Gurugram-based firm has noticed its membership users exploring new restaurants mostly due to Gold.
It makes eminent sense to extend this discovery behaviour to the delivery restaurant base, said Gaurav Gupta, Co-founder and COO, Zomato.
However, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) termed the move as a desperate attempt by Zomato to shore up sinking fortunes.
“It is now a program that merely promotes deep discounts on both dine-in and delivery verticals, the cost of which is borne solely by the restaurant partners,” said Anurag Katriar, President, NRAI adding that Zomato Gold in its current form is an unacceptable proposition.
Last month, Deepinder Goyal-led firm had curbed Gold usage and discontinue the trail packs after facing continuous backlash from restaurant partners over deep discounting by restaurant table reservation platforms.
NRAI called Zomato move as only a knee jerk reaction to the #logout movement and insisted that half measures won’t solve the deep discounting issue.
Earlier, thousands of restaurants had logged out from Gold partnership over deep discounting.