New Delhi: After some delivery riders in West Bengal's Howrah went on a strike alleging they were made to deliver beef and pork dishes against their will, Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal in a letter to his employees said that the protest was linked to a recent "rate card correction", not food or religion.
Goyal said that the issue got deliberately framed "incorrectly" after the Howrah riders approached a local politician.
"We know this because we took a look in our order database and there were zero orders from local homes for any item containing pork in the last three months in that entire area," Goyal wrote in the letter.
"There was one order of a food item containing beef but the customer cancelled that order before it was executed, let alone delivered. While I wanted to give you the facts about what was ordered -- or not ordered by households in that area -- that is actually besides the point," he added.
Zomato, he said, makes it very explicit that the delivery partners who voluntarily sign up will have to deliver all kinds of food that the customers in their region might choose to order.
The real issue which triggered the protest was primarily related to a recent rate card correction in that area.
"We start a city with an initial, fixed payment per order (or per day) to our delivery partners, which provides them a certain amount of earnings per week/month," Goyal said in the letter.
"After a few months, as our order density increases, and their work becomes more efficient, their monthly/weekly income increases - so we 'correct' the rate cards," he added.
Saying that a rate card correction is a routine process, he also said that occasionally, a handful of delivery riders do not understand the rate card corrections and start protesting against the change.