content_image_91b28e4b-2808-456d-986e-80b537c117ceNew Delhi : Within hours of restaurants unilaterally declaring Zomato’s new food quality policy, the delivery platform has intensified communication with its partners to signal peace and prevent any hasty action. The President of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) had earlier expressed the concerns of the industry in his interaction with the Zomato co-founder on apprehensions of ban based on consumer complaints.

Zomato said that it is extending the implementation of the new food quality policy from April 18 to May 3. The food delivery platform has also sought feedback from restaurants on the policy framework by April. To allay the fear of ban on 22 restaurants, the company said that matters relating to the policy framework are rare. However, if these rare issues are not addressed, it can damage the trust of customers and the reputation of restaurant establishments in the long run.

Zomato said it would work with its restaurant partners to establish the genuineness of any complaints. Only in cases where proper solution is not offered within a reasonable time. The restaurant may be temporarily disabled from the platform.

Disability will be in consultation with the restaurant management and will be applicable only until necessary remedial action is taken and verified by an FSSAI Accredited Sanitation and Safety Auditor. The company said in an email to restaurant partners that Business Standard has conducted the review.

The head of the Mumbai chapter of NRAI said that while the objective of the policy is good, the way Zomato is trying to implement it is a matter of concern. This could be a tough move for budget restaurants and small cloud kitchens on the platform. There is already a dispute resolution mechanism where consumers can lodge their complaints on the quality of restaurant food with the FSSAI and an aggregator does not have the authority to investigate such issues.

According to QSR brand Samosa Party, there have been cases in the industry when a competitor deliberately tried to vandalize a restaurant by posting about quality issues on social media or creating fake reviews.

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