New Delhi: Online food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato on Tuesday rebranded its popular Gold membership programme to Zomato Pro to include more discounts and privileges such as priority delivery on orders.
Existing Zomato Gold members across 10 countries will be automatically upgraded to Zomato Pro starting 1 August, and will get access to extra perks at no additional cost, Zomato said in a blog post on Tuesday.
Additionally, Pro, whose pricing for new members is yet to be revealed will offer members additional offers on the Zomato app and a money-back guarantee, effectively luring diners to its paid programme at a time when consumer sentiment remains low and the eating out market has shrunk as concerns around covid-19 prevent consumers from stepping out.
Zomato said it has already signed up 50% more partner restaurants on Pro than its existing Zomato Gold programme–across both dining out and delivery.
"Zomato Pro members will continue to enjoy existing offers (on Zomato Gold) across a wide selection of restaurants—from fine dining hotspots to legendary restaurants, cafes, bars as well as quick-service restaurants."
Pro members will also get priority home delivery on Zomato.
Covid has thrown a spanner at the restaurant business and companies are trying to drive back business in a big way to compensate for loss in the eating out market.
Zomato and Swiggy both announced job cuts in the month of May as the pandemic-induced lockdowns resulted in a huge drop in restaurant listings and food deliveries. Order volumes had dropped by 60-70% during the lockdown.
But in-home order volumes are inching up as India "unlocks", restaurants too are returning to the platform. However, the dining out market will take much longer to recover.
Zomato’s Gold program, though popular among diners, has caused a rift between the online food delivery company and restaurants—that led by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI)—have criticized the former for encouraging steep discounts to drive volumes.
Last September, Zomato launched Gold on delivery services effectively extending its popular programme that extends complimentary offers to members on in-home orders.
The move was met with much resistance from the NRAI that has been agitating against the online food delivery platform, blaming it for offering steep discounts, masking data, and distorting the price dynamics of the eating out market.
In response though, Zomato had made modifications to the membership program in August, limiting the number of “unlocks" per day among several other changes.