ZOMATO SCANDAL: A Lesson to Brands on How to Handle Crisis Management & Brand Sustainability

A couple days ago the world of Zomato (the food Empire) was shook by a video of a delivery executive in a Zomato t-shirt, carrying a Zomato delivery bag, eating food out of boxed orders and replacing each one after resealing them, back into the delivery bag. The video suggests that he consumed some of the food meant for delivery to users, on his way to the drop points.

The internet bombarded Zomato with furious comments after the video went viral in a few hours. An internet user wrote along with the video: ‘It’s really shocking how these reputed food delivery companies are functioning. People order food online expecting basic hygiene and this is how it is delivered? I am definitely not gonna encourage my kids to order food online, I suggest even you guys don’t!’

The uproar on social media led Zomato to release a statement, acknowledging the incident and calling it “a human error in judgment”.

Below is how the professionals at one of the world’s fastest-growing Delivery & Restaurant review app have responded:

“We want our users, restaurant partners and all stakeholders to know that –

1. We take these kinds of reports extremely seriously and upon thorough investigation, we’ve found that the video was shot in Madurai. The person in the video happened to be a delivery partner on our fleet. We have spoken to him at length – and while we understand that this was a human error in judgement, we have taken him off our platform.

2. We would like to iterate that given our multiple communication channels with users, who expect the highest standards from Zomato and highlight the smallest of deviations to us as soon as they receive their orders, this is highly unusual and a rare case.

3. Unfortunately, this also highlights a real possibility for tampering with the food on the way to delivery from a restaurant. We take this very seriously and will soon introduce tamper-proof tapes, and other precautionary measures to ensure we add an extra layer of safeguard against such behaviour. Additionally, we will educate our delivery fleet of over 1.5 lakh partners to highlight or escalate any such deviations to us, while also encouraging our users — the custodians of our platform — to highlight the smallest of anomalies to us.

4. And finally, our delivery partners are the face of our brand, and the heart of our success in growing to become the largest food delivery platform in the country. Our food delivery business has grown immensely over the last year on the back of our large delivery partner fleet that work very hard to ensure that Zomato translates to a high quality food experience. We thank them and the strong support and trust from our restaurant partners, consumers and investors.

Zomato maintains a zero tolerance policy for tampering of food. This particular incident, while unfortunate, only makes our commitment to fleet training, scheduling and process even stronger. We stand behind our extensive fleet who do the right thing across many hours of the day.

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