Zomato, the online restaurant discovery and food ordering platform, has waived off ‘per cover’ fee or platform fee for restaurants that enable table reservations through Zomato in a bid to stay ahead in the food tech race against Naspers-backed Swiggy. The move follows Zomato’ s 1 million reservations mark clocked in September through the one year old table reservation offering. Deepinder Goyal, CEO of Zomato, commented that “Retrospectively from June 1, 2017 onward, our restaurant partners will not need to pay a “per cover” fee or even a platform fee to accept seamless digital table reservations from Zomato. Yes, the service will be completely free”.
Currently, Zomato has over 1.4 million restaurants listed on its platform and the proposed rate cut is expected to help onboard more restaurants for this service helping its advertising business revenues that forms ~75% of its total revenue share. The changes in payment structures for restaurant partners in its allied business models come even as Zomato is in advanced talks to raise up to $200 million from Alibaba and its payment affiliate Ant Financial in a round that could see the firm being valued at $1.1 billion.