Now, AHAR raises concerns about food aggregator apps

Updated: Aug 23, 2019, 07:54 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

The Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association wants them to be brought under regulation for allegedly not sticking to terms and conditions

AHAR wants food aggregators under regulation as their services could also present a hygiene issue for customers. Representation pic
AHAR wants food aggregators under regulation as their services could also present a hygiene issue for customers. Representation pic

After over 1,350 restaurants in the country logged out of food aggregators' apps, the Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association (AHAR), which has over 8,000 members in the city, has also raised serious concerns over certain their (food aggregators') service to the industry. The association has raised its concerns over issues brought to its notice by its members. One of the major issues is that the ratings and the reviews on the sites of the aggregators are allegedly manipulated. The association also wants food aggregators to be under regulations, as they (food aggregators) allegedly don't stick to the terms and conditions on their dining out service offers, and charge exorbitant rates of percentage.

The issues with food aggregators

AHAR, one of the oldest associations in the hotel industry, had even written to the BMC highlighting the issue. Santosh Shetty, president of AHAR said, "There have been a number of instances when the members' rating and the best reviews were at the top while the hotels/ restaurants were making payments through advertisement or promoting the outlets on the sites (of the aggregators). But as soon the restaurant was not interested in advertising, the rating dropped drastically and even the negative reviews started topping the site." He pointed out another issue. "Many outlets which are registered on the online portals work without regulations. Many of them don't even have the necessary licenses. This causes major issues for the customer," he said.

'Bring them under regulation' AHAR wants food aggregators under regulation as their services not only concern the licensing authorities, but could also present a hygiene and health issue for the consumer. The body wants the photos of restaurants, including their kitchens to be put up on the sites of the aggregators for authenticity. They also want certain licenses and required compliances put up on the sites to assure the consumer. AHAR has also raised the issue of higher rate of percentage charged by them for their services. It claimed that food aggregators don't stick to the terms and conditions related to the service offers provided by them. The association has been holding meetings with its members to either demand a ban on the services of food aggregators, or get them to adhere to practices that are feasible for the industry and the consumer.

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