December 5, 2018
Online food delivery services are back in Kerala’s Ernakulam district after The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association decided to withdraw their boycott of food aggregators like Uber Eats, Zomato and Swiggy from today.
The popularity of such online food delivery agencies had resulted in a good section of consumers not making it to hotels which had spent good amounts on their infrastructure. Hoteliers in Kochi said this was not just an issue concerning Kochi or Kerala alone. Growth of online delivery service providers would finally pull the curtains down on hotels across the country as there would be the need only for kitchens.
The association has said that the withdrawal was only temporary since the aggregators had agreed to hold talks to iron out issues. It added that the ban could be back if the talks, proposed sometime next week, failed.
Hoteliers in Ernakulam had banned online services in the city seeking reduction in commission and an end to unhealthy offers which were drawing customers from hotels.
Incidentally, there were a number of hotels, not members of the association with a strength of 3,000 in the district, who were not party to the boycott from December 1. As it was business as usual for these hotels at the cost of member ones, there was pressure to pull out of the boycott, some hoteliers said.
Association secretary G Jayapal said hoteliers were also concerned about the inconvenience caused to the public and so decided to call off the boycott and hold talks with the online delivery service providers.
The aggregators initially collected 15 per cent as commission which was later doubled. Hoteliers also had to pay 18 per cent as GST.