Battle lines have been drawn, and swords are out. It is a full-blown battle now between restaurants and food delivery apps like Swiggy, Uber Eats, Zomato and Food Panda.
Kerala’s restaurants and hotels have declared a food app ban in Kochi, things are getting nasty.
But, is this ban even working? What are the reasons for this?
Kochi Declares Food App Ban!
Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA), the apex lobby of restaurants and hotels in Kerala founded in 1964, has declared a full blow battle against food delivery apps such as Swiggy and Uber Eats.
In Kochin, out of 4000 restaurants and hotels associated with KHRA, 50% of 2000 have refused to work with such food apps, as a major ‘food app ban’ has been declared.
Steep charges of GST and service fees are being reported as major reasons for this massive strike, which will go on for 10 days.
Apps charge 30% commission from hotel owners, and 18% GST, which leaves very little for them.
Azeez Moosa, president of KHRA, Kochi said, “We have 95 percent of the hotels and restaurants going by the norms and conditions placed by the association and are ready to move with the ban. There was also some confusion among the workers as they had no clue about the ban,”
As per KHRA, 30% service commission is not only too high but also illegal. Azeez has assured that the ban will become even stronger in coming days, as restaurants and hotels from outside the state will also join them.
What Is The Reason For This War Between Hotels, Apps?
A group called GREAT (Group for Restaurateurs’ Empowerment, Advancement, & Togetherness) recently wrote an open letter to the food delivery apps, wherein they shared their pain points, and pointed out why this ‘relationship’ isn’t working.
Addressed to the aggregators, and CCed to the customers, the open letter starts with these lines:
“Why are we writing to you, you ask? Because we feel squeezed. And suffocated. And helpless. Like small pawn-soldiers in the infantry of a larger war of the kings (and we actually thought we were warlords, but no!).”
Besides the issue of steep percentage (as pointed out by Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association as well), this open letter also mentions the fact that these aggregators steal their customers’ data, and then offer them choices with deep discounts, under their own brand.
This is hurting their business a lot.
The Open letter warns that very soon, most of the restaurants will stop working with these apps, and requests to customers to support their independent business by visiting their own website/app and visiting their place to eat out, rather than ordering via food delivery apps.
But Is The Ban Working?
Few mainstream newspapers have reported that the ban called by Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association in Kochi is not working, as customers are able to place their regular orders.
Yes, some of the customers did find out that their favorite restaurant is offline, but then, they found an alternative and ordered from there.
If you are from Kochi, then do share your experience during this food app ban, by commenting right here!
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