Restaurateurs upset over 'high' delivery app charges

They say Zomato and Swiggy are squeezing them in the name of commissions, customer discounts and ads
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST

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Restaurant owners are at loggerheads with food delivery companies over charges.

A Facebook post shared among restaurant owners questions their functioning: ‘They charge very high amounts for ads and offer 1:4 returns on the money spent. But out of the 30 per cent net profit, if 25 per cent is gone for ads, what are we doing with just 5 per cent?’

Swiggy and Zomato are the biggest food aggregators in Bengaluru now. Arun Adiga, proprietor of Vidyarthi Bhavan, says the more restaurants rely on food aggregators, the less they keep at the end of the day.

No data shared

Depending on the scale of the restaurant, food aggregators collect commissions of 25 to 30 per cent on the bill. They charge restaurants extra to show their advertisements on the app/website.

Even after paying for the ads, restaurateurs say, they get no data from the aggregators. “They take forever to answer your queries but are quick to respond when you have some ad money to spend. They never give you proper analytics for the money you spent... You buy clicks and they show a graph saying these many clicks are done,” the Facebook post says.

Details about who clicked and from where are not provided to restaurant owners.


Restaurants are considering alternatives such as Dotpe, an offline to online digital platform that works with mobile phones and QR codes. It is not an aggregator but comes with a payment gateway for customers.

Partnering with National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), Dotpe could make transactions easy for owners and customers, some restaurateurs say.

Some restaurants in the city are experimenting with the program now, and say it is simple to use. The restaurant has a QR code or WhatsApp number which it shares with the customer. “When you scan the QR code, you get the menu on your phone to place the order. It then takes you to a payment gateway and you can finish your order. You get the details on your WhatsApp account and you can use them for your next order,” explains Thomas Fenn, member of NRAI.

Restaurant owners are given access to the data and understand their markets better. As a restauranteur, Rs 1 is paid per transaction, along with payment gateway charge (1.2% approximately standard average). Arun Adiga says, “I’m yet to make it official but we are looking at Dotpe for home delivery. Customers can either pick up their food from the restaurant when it’s ready or have it delivered through Dunzo.”

Swiggy take

A Swiggy spokesperson says all commissions are worked out with individual restaurants. “They are in line with factors like average order value and delivery and other costs,” the spokesperson said. The food delivery company says its efforts are now directed towards helping partner restaurants reopen seamlessly and revive their businesses.

Delivery agents’ scam

Due to the high demand for online delivery, delivery agents are in demand, too. “Not all of them are professional enough, unfortunately,” says Nimit (name changed), who runs a biryani restaurant. “Agents who are friends get into a deal, and one picks up an order claiming to be the other. The assigned agent comes a few minutes later, asking for the food,” Nimit explains. Since the customer complains about a no show, the delivery aggregator will have to refund the money, he says.

Published 18 August 2020, 16:14 IST

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