Zomato suspends its unlimited 'Infinity Dining' programme
Online food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato has taken off its Infiniting Dining programme from its app. According to media reports, the suspension followed protests from partner restaurants against the "deep and unsustainable" discounting.
Earlier in July, the foodtech unicorn added the exclusive feature for its Gold members. The programme allowed Zomato’s Gold members to eat and drink all that they could, for the price that they would pay typically for a two-course meal.
Deepinder Goyal, Co-founder and CEO, Zomato (Illustration credit: Aditya Ranade).
Zomato had more than 350 restaurants and bars across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Bengaluru as part of the Infinity Dining scheme. In a blog post, Co-founder and COO Gaurav Gupta had written:
"This is a global first for such an experience to be introduced in the dining space, and India becomes the first country to offer such a choice at scale."
In August, FHRAI (Federation of Hotel and Restaurants Association of India) had asked food service aggregators, including Zomato, Swiggy, Dineout, and Magicpin, to review their discounting schemes and engage in a dialogue for addressing partner restaurants’ issues.
Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, FHRAI, had said:
“We are absolutely in favour of doing business, a business that is a win-win for everyone involved.”
Restaurant association NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India) decried Zomato for coming out to talks to resolve differences over deep discounting. Commenting on the development, a Zomato spokesperson said:
“All our products are always in a continuous state of evolution, and we are always listening to our users and our partners.”
Meanwhile, Founder Deepinder Goyal tweeted then:
“Zomato is logging out of the logout campaign. We have said enough and we are getting back to work. I am confident better business sense will prevail at the end.”
He also said that he was offering discounts at his own The Beer Café chain of outlets, proving that he was not against such policies.
On the recent development, a Zomato spokesperson said Infinity Dining was in alpha stage and being tested continuously. "Group dining, whether organised office parties or family outings, is a valuable large-table opportunity. The very focus of Infinity was to enable more of these opportunities for restaurants. We received a range of feedback about the service, and have paused it as we incorporate the feedback," he said.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)