A Domino's effect? Online food delivery Zomato has recently launched the 'On time or Free' feature for its customers. But unlike Domino's, which has had the '30 minutes or free' offer for years, Zomato's has not specified any particular time period for the food delivery as of now.
In a well-articulated tweet by the company, which is known for its quirky tweets to keep its customers and audience engaged, the food delivery app introduced the feature on a Twitter thread that started with asking users, "what is the craziest thing you've done to get free food?"
In the same tweet later on, it announced the OTOF (On-Time or Free) feature.
With the introduction of the feature, Zomato claims that users will get their food guaranteed on time or get their money back. The offer will be applicable for the 'entire Zomato menu of thousands of restaurants across 100+ cities in India.'
To avail the feature, users will have to click on ‘On-Time or Free’ when placing their orders and will get their money back if Zomato fails to deliver on time.
The announcement also caught the attention of the customers who were concerned about added pressure on the delivery boys to deliver food in the stipulated time and hence, may take to breaking traffic rules. Addressing the concerns, Zomato also clarified that neither restaurants nor delivery partners are hard-pressed on time to fulfill orders. “Our delivery partners aren't even informed whether the order they're going to deliver is an 'On Time Or Free' order or not, therefore eliminating the chances of them breaking rules to bring your order on time," it said in statement.
Before revealing this feature for its customers, Zomato had also started a TV campaign based on the theme of ‘kabhi to late ho jaata’. The ad features many users who opted for ‘On-Time or Free’ and wished the food came late in hope to receive food for free. However, as the ad shows, the food is always delivered on time and with that the background music plays ‘thoda sa late ho jaata’ song, perfectly depicting the customers' failing desires to get food for free.
The campaign had also roped in Telugu movie star Vijay Deverakonda to represent the same in Southern India's markets. The TV ad features Deverakonda as a Zomato user, who has opted for ‘on-Time or Free’.
Zomato and Swiggy have always been under tough competition in a bid to get the larger share in the food delivery market in India. For the same reason, Zomato was recently reported to be in advanced talks to buy UberEats, a sub-brand of Uber. According to a TechCrunch report citing sources, the deal "currently values UberEats' India business at around $400 million". As part of the deal, "Uber may invest between $150 to $200 million in Zomato", the report claimed.