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The food and restaurant industry associations on Wednesday said they have all come together to protest against deep discounting and other predatory policies employed by the food service aggregators (FSAs).

The association supports the #Logout movement against food service aggregators initiated by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) in August 2019.

“Over 7.3 million people are employed by the food and restaurants industry and the discounting offered by these aggregators is resulting in closing down of business and job loss,” HRAWI president and FHRAI vice president Gurbaxish Singh Kohli told reporters here.

The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), the apex body of the Hotel Industry in India comprising of HRANI, HRAWI, SIHRA and HRAEI, has extended its whole-hearted support to the #Logout movement initiated by NRAI in August.

Along with FHRAI, several other associations such as AHAR, Thane Hotel Association, Pune Restaurants and Hotel Association (PRAHA), NHRA, Vadodara Food Entrepreneurs (VFE) have also joined the #Logout movement.

“We recognise the need for a peaceful co-existence of the hotel and restaurant industry with e-commerce aggregators, but is also very clear that the terms of engagement between the two sides have to be equal at all times, that no one can usurp the role of the other, and aggregators cannot dominate the industry or conduct its business in a manner that is detrimental or negatively impacts the industrys growth or
profits,” Kohli said.

He said, all four food service aggregators have agreed to the industry demands, except Zomato Gold.

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Kohli said, the restaurants margin is maximum 15-16 per cent, and Zomato’s 50 per cent is completely unviable for the industry.

“It is clear that these aggregators, who are heavily funded by private equity funds, have to recognise that their role is that of a ‘market-place or a service-provider’, akin to a travel agency or a discovery platform like Yellow Page of yore. Their role is to merely aggregate services of the industry. They do not represent the hotel and food service industry. Therefore, they cannot decide or dictate commercials terms on behalf of the industry,” Kohli added.

The logout movement have resulted in around over 3,000 restaurants logging out of the Zomato Gold service. Currently Zomato Gold has 6,000 restaurants, he said. PTI SM

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