Days of deadlock between restaurants and food dining aggregators finally took a turn as Zomato paused its 'Infinity Dining' programme from its app that was launched just about two months ago. Based on an 'all-you-can-eat' model, this programme was spread across three cities with over 300-plus restaurants and had become the bone of contention in the battle between Zomato and restaurant owners. NRAI urged restaurateurs to stay off food delivery platforms who they said, practiced 'deep and unsustainable discounting' practices to lure customers, hurting their businesses.
A Zomato spokesperson confirmed the development and told NDTV, "We received a range of feedback about Infinity Dining, and have paused it in order to incorporate the feedback."
The Infinity Dining programme enabled Zomato Gold users to order unlimited food and drinks for a set price from the menu of partner restaurants for a limited period of time, which left very little profit margin for the restaurants. As told to Economic Times, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) former president Rahul Singh said that the Infinity feature in the Gold programme was the final straw and that it isn't surprising to see it shutting down. NRAI advocates the conservation of water and other resources and such programmes only promote wastage of resources.
(Also Read: Zomato Proposes Changes To Gold Membership: NRAI Asks Restaurants To Stay Logged Out)
Online food aggregators like Zomato and Swiggy had been at loggerheads since NRAI launched its #LogOut campaign on August 15 th as a mark of protest against aggressive discounts and predatory pricing with many restaurants leaving the food platforms. The movement has since then gone back and forth between NRAI and Zomato with the delivery platform proposing a new plan and reworking the Gold membership to drive better profit margins for its restaurant partners. However, NRAI rebuffed the proposal saying it was a "knee jerk reaction to the #logout movement" and that it was "another attempt to stuff old wine in a new bottle."