Foodies and patrons have gone bonkers on the news of Zomato Gold coming to India. It’s not been a year since Gold came to India, and in such a short span of time, has received 150k+ takers over 10 cities across India and it’s going to inflate any time soon. The fine idea of getting an additional food item ‘or’ a couple of drinks in your fav restaurant/lounge, has led to the tremendous success of Zomato Gold.
In each of the cities, hundreds and thousands of restaurants have associated themselves with this program, in order to gain an “elite” group of loyal customers. Pretty soon, these restaurants footfall saw an upward surge and voila, they struck Gold indeed. Those restaurants that have a good service and food quality, will see repeat customers, hence, increasing its patron loyalty. But will the restaurants actually get “elite”, loyal customers, or just bargainers? Not to forget, that the cost of the free item(s) has to be borne by the restaurants only, as Zomato has no bearings.
From what I have seen, many people see Zomato Gold as an access to fine-dining restaurants which they often dreamt of visiting and for free food, that is. Although it saves restaurants from sitting idle and have a running kitchen, but is it actually worth it? It’s more of a promotional stuff that restaurants seek to recover from repeated visits, but in the end, once the Gold scheme cease to exist, will the loyal customers actually return?
Another important factor is the recently changed Zomato Gold Policy that restricted the usage of Zomato Gold memberships depending on the number of diners on the table. Earlier, for every 3 diners, 2 Gold memberships could have been unlocked, but now, for every 2/3 diners, only 1 Gold membership can be unlocked, thereby decreasing the number of free stuff by 2/4 as the case may be. This change, effective immediately, came as a bolt from the blue to certain users. But desperate times calls for desperate measures. Bargain hunters, who got in the Zomato Gold scheme cheap, used to abuse the benefits and restaurants, in the end, had to pay for it. Moreover, passing on the Zomato User ID became a common activity, as such, even if none of the diners were Gold members, they still used the same showing the membership of others. Restaurants took stock of this and started demanding ID proofs of the diners.
All these percolates to a situation where it is evident that free-loaders have benefitted from the Gold scheme, rather than the restaurants. The other party to benefit from this is Zomato itself. They got a huge customer base, 150k+ in this case, with a whopping revenue of INR 5 Cr plus (this is a bare minimum assumption). Why do I call it a Marketing Trickery, is because customers are lured towards partner restaurants where maximum restaurants are in the 3*-4* rating, and free food or drinks are offered. Despite the change in policy, the usage of Zomato Gold will not fall, as getting freebies becomes a habit for these bargain hunters. As for the restaurants, the footfall may have increased, but the revenues have slightly increased. These are for some of the restaurants; Again, the situation varies from establishment to establishment.
Is the Zomato Gold programme effective? Yes.
Is the Zomato Gold programme beneficial to the users? Yes. Who says No to free food and drinks.
Is the Gold programme sustainable for the partner restaurants? We have to wait and watch.
Till then, enjoy Zomato Gold. It’s a good deal for us, the users. Do drop in your comments below whether you agree or disagree.
In case you are opting for the Gold plan, use my code “STAREA” to get 20% discount. Cheers!!