Restaurant owners boycott food delivery service over unfair practices

KARACHI: The All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA) has announced to boycott the food delivery service ‘Foodpanda’ from today over the unfair practices.

In a letter of complaint to the CEO of the company, Muhammad Naeem Siddiqui, chairman APRA apprised their member’s grievances and concerns, pointing out that foodpanda repeatedly pressed for an increase in commission and non-implementation of the agreement and made some important demands. In which it is clearly stated that if unfair practices will not stop then APRA considers stopping work with foodpanda on a permanent basis.

“Vendor Delivery was the original concept by foodpanda and FP’s own delivery was launched as an optional service. Forcing restaurants to close their Vendor Delivery, which has not only increased unemployment but has ‘disconnected’ them from customers and is not acceptable at all. We demand Vendor Delivery to be operational for all regardless of the size of the brand”, he added.

APRA chairman said that majority of our members are being pressurized to increase commissions but our industry already runs on razor-thin margins and it’s impossible to pay 25-35pc commissions for aggregation services. It is especially difficult for new entrants, as their startup costs get drastically higher. We need to ensure that there is a cap on the commission that foodpanda may charge.

“Managers blackmail APRA members to increase the commission many folds, for e.g. from 18pc to be increased to 25pc, threatening and shutting their brands from your portal. This is the most unethical way of extorting any member to accept foodpanda terms & conditions and it needs to be stopped immediately”, Naeem demanded.

APRA president opined that our members have also complained that foodpanda asked them to work with restaurants exclusively which fall under anti-competitive business conduct and can be challenged in the Competition Commission of Pakistan.

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He further said that the restaurant industry was majorly hit during Covid-19 and now is the time when they need maximum support from their stakeholders. We did raise similar concerns earlier but there has been no permanent solution from their higher-ups, which has to lead us to announce the suspension of services by all our members.

APRA president warned that all APRA members will be closing their tablets from 15th September onwards initially in Karachi and if no resolution is achieved, we will be left with no option than to close the services permanently Nationwide.

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