Zomato has suspended the Infinity Dining programme just over two months after its launch in India. The move comes amidst ongoing battle with restaurants over discounts offered by the food delivery and search platform. The programme was launched as a “first for India” by the aggregator. It allowed diners to try as many dishes as they wanted at a fixed rate per person.
“Infinity Dining was launched just over two months ago in three cities with 300+ restaurants. The product is in alpha stage and being tested continuously,” a Zomato spokesperson told BGR India. “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.”
The programme, now discontinued, became the biggest reason for contention between Zomato and restaurants on its platform. The service allowed Zomato Gold subscribers to order unlimited food and drinks for a set price from the menu of a partner restaurants. Restaurants recently complained that the programme squeezed their profit margins.
On August 15, restaurants around the country had launched a “logout” campaign against aggregators like Zomato. They alleged “deep discounting, lack of transparency, data masking and abuse of dominant position by online delivery aggregators”. Dineout, Easydiner, Magicpin and Nearbuy have reportedly resolved contentious issues with restaurants. The battle with Zomato, however, continues and has led to delay in extension of Gold membership to online delivery.
It is estimated that about 2,000 restaurants belonging to NRAI and other associations have delisted from the Zomato Gold programme. However, the Zomato spokerspon confirmed that 10 percent of the 6,500 plus restaurant members of Zomato Gold has left and many had rejoined. Some of the restaurants belonging to NRAI have told that they will not rejoin Zomato till the time it makes changes to dine-in programme.