8. The curious case of Zomato’s food delivery plan – The Times of India

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  • 8. The curious case of Zomato’s food delivery plan
8. The curious case of Zomato’s food delivery plan

  • In 24 hours, Zomato CEO Deepender Goyal partially rolled back the restaurant aggregation and delivery platform’s new food delivery regime.
  • Goyal announced a colour-coded uniform scheme for delivery persons carrying vegetarian and non-vegetarian food orders.

The new service

  • Zomato announced on Tuesday its new “pure vegetarian” mode and delivery service. It said the mode on the app would exclude all restaurants that have any “non-veg food item” on their menus.
  • Goyal said these orders would be delivered by a new fleet which would ensure “a non-veg meal, or even a veg meal served by a non-veg restaurant, will never go inside the green delivery box”.

The outcry

  • All the imagery released initially, including of Goyal delivering an order, showed delivery persons of the new fleet wearing green instead of the company’s traditional red shirts.
  • Many on social media were quick to point out this could result in discrimination against drivers in the company’s red shirts in housing colonies that enforce vegetarianism.
  • They also warned about discrimination against perceived meat-eaters living in housing societies.
  • People also pointed out that the company’s policies — despite Goyal’s claims — only reinforced caste-based beliefs about purity and pollution against those from lower castes.

A brief standoff

  • Goyal initially tweeted he had received “an overwhelmingly positive response” and even retweeted one such comment.
  • He claimed the separation of fleets would prevent potential spillage and the smell of a non-vegetarian order affecting a vegetarian order.
  • The CEO promised to consider any repercussions of the new scheme and to “roll it back in a heartbeat” if needed.

A quick change in policy

  • On Wednesday morning, as criticism mounted, Goyal announced a tweak in the offering.
  • “While we are going to continue to have a fleet for vegetarians, we have decided to remove the on-ground segregation of this fleet on the ground using the colour green,” Goyal tweeted.
  • He said all delivery persons wear only red shirts and some of the riders would deliver only ‘pure vegetarian’ orders.

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