November 28, 2018
Restaurants in Kerala have decided not to provide food online, alleging a vicious trap by portals. A restaurant owner from Kochi said one of the online food portals had invested around Rs 13 crore in Kerala alone to provide food items at reduced rates and thereby “grabbing customers”.
Currently, there were no issues with the online portals but there was a feeling like they were trying to persuade customers to go for online food purchase rather than go to a restaurant because the same biriyani that would cost Rs 110 in a restaurant was being provided to customers for around Rs 57-67.
“Thereby, these portals create an addiction among their customers to go for online shopping. Once the companies feel they have got almost all the customers they will suddenly change their strategy which may even collapse the family budget of an average family,” said a restaurant owner.
Once customers made it a habit to go for online food orders, restaurants that invested lakhs on infrastructures would fail to repay their loans and end up in huge debts leading to permanent closure of the shop. This would also affect the livelihood of workers, restaurant owners said.
Alleging that the online food portals were trying to cheat customers, Kerala Hotels and Restaurant Association has decided to end the agreements with online portals and not to comply with them from December 1.