Consumers want discounts to stay, even if not 'deep'

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) Foodies and restaurant-goers may well be at the receiving end of the recent campaign by restaurant owners against deep discount by online food aggregators. Most consumers although understand the business dynamics of the restaurants and their logic behind the campaign, they say, discounts and offers should exist in some form or the other.

Over 2,500 restaurants have logged out of online food aggregators across the country, in protest against the deep discounting practices of the aggregators.

"It is sad the way things have turned out. A lot of my favourite restaurants are missing from Gold restaurant list," Delhi-based Debashish Pachal, a Zomato Gold subscriber told IANS.

"If there are no deep discounts, what is the use of having a Zomato Gold subscription? Such one-time deals are available even on smaller apps like Nearbuy," he said.

Although the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has come to a truce with Dineout, Eazydiner, Magicpin and Nearbuy, and agreed at the changes offered by these aggregators, Zomato has been averse to changes as sought by the association.

The difference between the NRAI and Zomato seems to have aggravated with debate Zomato's CEO Deepinder Goyal and the NRAI President Rahul Singh turning personal. Further NRAI has also said that its member restaurants would not log on to Zomato's Gold service anymore.

A day after Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal taunted Rahul Singh, President of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), on Twitter and logged out of the restaurants' #logout campaign against the deep discounting practices of online food aggregators, Singh on Friday hit back at Goyal by starting a new campaign #ZoGoisNoGo.

Consequently, Zomato Gold users now may not be able to avail its services at some their favourite restaurants.

"On July 8, I had renewed by Zomato Gold subscription by paying Rs 767, and now I cannot avail the services at some of my favourite restaurants, including 'Oh Calcutta'," Pachal told IANS.

On the restaurants' claim of impact on profit margins, he feels that small restaurants may be impacted due to deep discounts but large ones may not have faced the same heat.

Mumbai-based Viknesh Ramanan says that restaurants would sell much more through the aggregators, which would help in mitigating the impact on profit per customer.

A chartered accountant by profession, Ramanan feels that restaurants are smart enough to offset the decline in profit margin by reducing the quantity or even quality which would mitigate the fall in margin.

"Deep discounts for consumers is always a boon... even being a gimmick many-a-times, discounts result in overall satisfaction as it seems that things are bang for the buck," he said.

--IANS

rrb/na/in

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