We have all warmed to having meals delivered to our homes for convenience. The fact that we can now easily order any dish from any restaurant with the push of a mouse makes the experience authentic. And minutes later, it arrives, warm and cozy. And somewhere in the thrill of placing an order, we forget to consider the price. It was seen by a Zomato customer who shared it on LinkedIn, which attracted attention.
Rahul Kabra, a LinkedIn user, shared pictures of a Zomato order bill and an offline statement for the same transaction, showing a glaring disparity in the total order cost. The orders were from the Mumbai eatery “The Momo Factory” and included the following dishes: mushroom momo, vegetable fried rice, and veg black pepper sauce. Rahul Kabra’s caption said, “I’m contrasting online and physical orders side by side. I observed that INR 512 is the cost for an offline order. Zomato order costs INR 690. (after an applied discount of INR 75). Cost inflation of 34.76% per order at INR 178 is (690-5) “2)/512.”
Rahul Kabra continued, “Should it charge such a hefty premium if Zomato gives awareness and more orders to the food service provider?”
Many additional people quickly became interested in the topic and expressed both support and opposition to the pricing strategies used by food aggregators. The post received more than 10,000 likes and thousands of comments, including “It would be preferable if they continued serving the same menu and collected their fees separately. At least the users won’t have any complaints.”
One person said, “My Swiggy encounter in Indore. I intended to place a takeout thaali order at a local eatery. The price listed on Swiggy was 120 + delivery fees. I made the decision to pick it up from the restaurant because I was headed in that direction. I was shocked to see the identical thaali for 99. The same dish was 40% off on Swiggy, yet I would have spent approximately 140 “extra.”
Added by another user, “The distinction between US-based meal delivery services like Doordash is that they keep the prices of the food products the same as restaurants. However, they tack on additional taxes and a separate shipping price. In this manner, there is transparency, and the consumer is fully aware of the value of the additional cost.”
Many others disagreed with these viewpoints, though, and advocated in favor of the price structure of meal delivery applications.