As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread across the world destroying various industries in its wake, restaurants and the hospitality business have taken a deep hit. While there were some restaurants operating through the online food delivery platform Zomato, the three-week-long lockdown has now even stopped their operations completely.
While the Ministry of Home Affairs released a list of essential services which are allowed to operate, restaurants were not explicitly included in it and Zomato says it is working with the authorities to clear the confusion.
In the wake of recent developments, Zomato’s founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter and announced a relief plan, mentioning the steps being undertaken by the company to help its users, delivery executives and gold restaurant partners across the 10,000 plus cities it operates in.
Goyal said that Zomato will be facilitating working capital loans for its partner restaurants to help them stay afloat in the pandemic. At first, this facility will be available for its Gold Dining out partners only but the company will extend this facility to all partnering restaurants in future.
Goyal said that since the transactions for gold partner restaurants flows through Zomato, it’s easier and cheaper for the company’s fintech partners to underwrite the loans. The company is in the midst of figuring out the terms and conditions and ways to help out the rest of the partnering restaurants as well.
For users, the company will extend the paid Zomato Gold membership by two months for no additional cost to its members across India, UAE, Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, Lebanon, Turkey, New Zealand, Portugal and Qatar.
Acknowledging the problems faced by its fleet of more than 2.3 lakh delivery riders, Zomato is launching a fund to cover for their lost earnings. While details are not announced yet, Goyal said they are expecting government’s support for this initiative.
According to Goyal, hundreds of Zomato employees would be taking voluntary pay cuts to conserve cash and donate for its delivery partner fund as well as the ‘Feed the Daily Wager’ campaign.