Zomato, the food delivery and dining company, has announced on Friday that it will perform a physical inspection of cloud kitchens which operate more than ten brands out of a single location in order to minimize operator mishaps.
"While there is no exact information to the right number of brands, we believe that even the most well-organized businesses in the industry don''t see operational benefits and customer trust in excessive operating, according to Zomato in a blog post.
The food aggregator said that in the past, the federal Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also stated that cloud kitchen firms are permitted to operate multiple brands on a single FSSAI license.
Despite the fact that some fly-by-night operators, who account for less than 0.2 percent of registered kitchens, misuse this law by generating unquestionably named brands from the same kitchen.
According to Zomato, these brands have little to no variation in the product offering; instead, they confounded/cheat customers by posing a false choice, despite having no effect on it.
"The majority of the firms operated by these operators have terrible reviews and ratings on our platform. Such operators wreak havoc on the restaurant industry as a whole, causing us harm in more ways than one," says a blog post.
In the paper on why this leads to a bad customer experience, the experts claim that often people create multiple brands with very little differentiation in the actual product (dishes or the food experience itself) offered to customers.
Moreover, managing multiple brands and cuisines is complex in nature, and unless done with the proper SOP and oversight, this leads to high inconsistencies in food quality and hygiene, according to the food aggregator.
Zomato said in the last few weeks that it has worked with the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and other restaurant partners to develop a logical approach to combat these practices.
"We found this was an acceptable interim solution after deliberations with Zomato, where the Zomato team performs a physical inspection of such sites.
"We will further work with the Zomato team in making sure that these kitchens meet industry standards and propose solutions thereon. The aim of this process is to create and sustain a healthy ecosystem," says Kabir Suri, President of the National Natural Resources Administration.
"We are going to manually check any physical location that has more than ten brands out of a single location," Zomato said.
The aggregator said it would list the restaurant partners who provide a great experience other than the operators described below from this manual check so they may avoid delays while expanding their scope.
It suggested that restaurant partners who do not make it to the whitelist and believe that they serve highly differentiated brands (more than 10) from the same premises should get in touch with the company.
"Our teams will look at your proposed offering, including your kitchen space (is it large enough to host and do justice to multiple cuisines) and our historic customer experience on Zomato, among other things. We will also collaborate with FSSAI at their request so it helps our authorities," said the blogpost.
Zomato''s decision comes as a result of a Twitter thread a few weeks back on the basis that multiple brands have been governed by the same kitchen.