In a bid to increase demand for partner restaurants, Zomato on Wednesday said that it is making its ‘takeaway’ service commission-free, and will be forgoing all payment gateway charges on ‘takeaway’ orders.
The food delivery unicorn also claimed that gross merchandise value (GMV) run rate of food orders on its platform is back to pre-covid levels, and currently stands at 110% of pre-pandemic months.
Zomato introduced takeaways back in 2018, where customers can place an order on the Zomato app and pick up the food directly from the restaurant, after making the payment online.
Founder and chief executive Deepinder Goyal on Twitter said that at present, Zomato has more than 55,000 restaurants, which are live on its ‘takeaway’ platform, as it serves ‘tens of thousands’ of these orders on a weekly basis.
“To help the restaurant sector, we will also forego the payment gateway charges incurred on all such orders. We have already seen more than 200% increase in takeaway order volume in the last few months. We encourage our customers to wear masks and practice social distancing while picking up their orders,” Goyal in a series of tweets said.
Along with this, Zomato also said it has delivered over 130 million orders since the first lockdown started in March.
“While the above signs have been more than encouraging, we know that: this growth has not been uniform, and the overall food service industry is still far from full recovery. The sector will continue to need all the help to get back to pre-covid levels,” said Zomato in a blog.
The company also added that for restaurants, which already serve delivery orders, takeaway provides another avenue to access more customers, and further grow their business.
In October, Goyal had tweeted that food delivery volumes in India reached pre-covid peaks, with Zomato servicing close to 92 million orders since March 23. The company also added that it now expects food delivery sector to grow at 15% month-on-month.
On the other end, market rival, Swiggy said its pan-India food delivery volumes have recovered by almost 85%, last month as it delivered over 100 million orders since the lockdown and is onboarding 7000 new restaurants on a monthly basis.
Last month, Mint reported smaller towns and cities in India were aiding recovery for food delivery apps, as individuals headed back from metros to their hometowns, with companies allowing employees to continue working from home.
Swiggy said that due to this reverse migration, food volumes and GMV for smaller towns and satellite metro cities, such as Kolkata, Kochi, Lucknow, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Mysore have doubled, with some cities even performing at 150% of pre-covid levels.
Metros saw an impact on value due to this exodus with Bengaluru and Chennai reaching only 80% of pre-covid GMV levels, Swiggy said.
Rival Zomato has witnessed a similar trend, with 1 in every 5 customers in metros (pre-covid) opening their app from a smaller town recently. For the Gurugram-based firm, cities such as Patna, Jamshedpur, Ranchi, and Siliguri have recovered completely, exceeding pre-covid levels.