Zomato can’t catch a break.
After thousands of people had uninstalled its app and rated its app with one-star ratings over a Twitter post, its delivery partners in Howrah had protested over being made to deliver beef and pork, and more than 1,200 restaurants logged out of Zomato Gold, the knives with its own restaurant partners seem to be out in the open. Raghunandan S Prasad, an ISB graduate and a restaurateur, has roasted Zomato in an open letter. Prasad criticizes Zomato over its policies, and uses some choice words for the food app — he calls it a “leech” and a “glorified broker.” As Zomato and its restaurateurs continue to negotiate over the terms around Zomato Gold, here is the letter in its entirety.
I remember in your early days when you came on board and started getting people to rate my work.
Imagine if I got the public to rate your ceo or your employees on how they did their job.
It’s nice that you got customers actively involved with performance improvements but that is largely an internal matter, we have our own mechanisms to get their feedback and although customer satisfaction drives the industry you have no right to display the matter with so much scrutiny and bias to public eyes.
I knew things would go wrong when you changed your rating system a few years ago. I had sent you an email then asking you to explain your new rating system , you gave a vague response mentioning a percentile grade system with “complex algorithms” that were too intricate to explain to lowly restaurateurs.
Whatever it was my rating fell by 3 points and places like vidhyarthi Bhavan and other legendary places just went up a few notches.
You were setting the rules for the industry
No one would take your app seriously if beloved places were given a lower rating . No one cares about a new place though. Customers can just write it off as a shitty place and not give a damn, and you can in turn make money from new restaurants who want to change that perspective by advertising with you.
Your response to the rating query was cold and indifferent.
Much like the way you responded now, to the gold fiasco. Until yesterday you rubbished off our protest and when you found that we #logged out, you sent a threatening mail to “partners” ( mind you we are not your partners. We are your customers, you are a glorified broker who takes all the credit for our product which we so laboriously sell to our actual customers)
While all other aggregators were apologizing and feeling guilty for hurting the restaurant fraternity;
You tightened the rules of your delivery platform imposing huge penalties on customers / restaurants if they didn’t obey your rules. All in the name of serving your customers? Sorry they never became your customers. You are merely a delivery agency. It is not your product. Just do your job and deliver the food. Try not to eat it on the way.
You sent a cold and threatening mail about how there would be consequences for joining the movement , you said we had to give a 45 days notice. You ensured legal action against us for opposing you.
You called us out for cartelising ? What about you? You created this whole price war and mess.
Despite your enormous funding you haven’t made a single buck in profit ever and you question us ? Tell us how to run our business and ask us to reduce our operating costs?!
We are customers , we pay you 45k for gold subscription. You are providing a service to us, lest you forget it. You promised it would be a very exclusive service and would have a choice few customers and restaurants in the program, but you didn’t honor your word.
For the seller to be so contractually binding means only one thing. You need us way more than we need you.
Today after your investors got wind of the shit storm, and ordered you to shut gold down or change it drastically you sent us all “personal mails” asking to reconcile.
But your next big plan is infinity which will hurt us even more.
Zomato is a leech. Sucking the life of the industry, it needs to be deep fried and dumped in the bin because we actually take our food seriously.
You are not fooling anyone. You are not dealing with sheep. We can smell a wolf from a mile away.
A whole fraternity has been pissed off across the entire country! And you have the audacity to call us out for being inconsiderate to our customers?! Zomato has never waited a table in its life or cooked a meal for guests, we know what it means to serve and care for our guests.
We are generations old, we have given employment to millions . You on the other hand throw your poor delivery boys under the bus when they ask for some basic rights. Mass fire employees for not meeting your targets.
We don’t let our employees do anything they don’t want to and take care of their interests and beliefs, something you dont seem to understand.
You say we have free choice but you have gamed the system with your ratings which make us compete with our neighbors and for a spot in your “collections” which we pay to get on to. You have pitted us against each other and manipulated an entire industry.
We have been around since your founders were in diapers;
We have grown a whole community and fed the people with love, not discounts. Your discount addiction schemes and promise of profits wont last.
You haven’t made any profits yet, we cannot take you seriously. You are not really here to help the industry.
The two things you are wealthy in, is data ( which we unwittingly feed you ) and borrowed money. All for you to burn. And you scare us with it. You push us to accept your terms because deep pockets and knowledge is powerful. But you abused it, made the very people who feed you fight against each other in the chase for better sales, and jump through your rating hoops.
Soon our customers too will see you for what you really are. Your angel investors might not be so generous after that.”