Restaurants in Pune – I’m going for the unvarnished truth here – are pissed.
So pissed, in fact, that they’ve gone and started a movement called #logout. I find this fascinating.
First things first: I am gobsmacked that restaurants in Pune have become savvy enough to use catchphrases and hashtags. Twenty years ago, #getout was the motto of every customer facing establishment in our city. Minus the #, of course, because ugich kashala?
Today, I’m glad to see that restaurant owners retain their ire, but as I said: I’m gobsmacked that they’ll choose to fight their battles by trending on Twitter.
Second, based on what Zomato is saying, the issue is that folks seem to be abusing the discount privileges they have. I don’t know if this is a city specific thing, but I’d like to think that it is.
Here’s what happens: services like Zomato Gold allow you to have one of the dishes on your table struck off the cost of the meal. Or, in certain other places, allow you to quaff four drinks for the price of two.
I can visualize the young folk in Pune thinking about it in much the same way that I visualize the grinch thinking about stealing Christmas.
For what seems to be happening is the following: one may step into a restaurant, order a couple of starters, and have one of them gratis. Then, one steps out of the first restaurant, walks into the second, orders a couple of mains, and has one of them on the house. And then, one walks into yet a third restaurant, and downs four drinks, of which two are comped.
Young folks reading this by now may be wondering why this merits such elaboration. Is it not, they might be thinking to themselves, oh so obvious. Youngsters, I have one word for you: offspring.
You see, you footloose and fancy free folks, going out for a meal with a child is kind of like preparing for war. One must first fight the battle of where to go, then fight multiple battles of my favorite sport (“Have we reached?” “No.” Have we reached?” “No.” Have we reached?” “NO!!!”… a hiatus of exactly forty seven seconds… “Have we reached?”), and then deploy YouTube* as soon as we reach. At which point you realise that your phones are almost out of charge, and you break down in tears.
The thought that you might want to do this three times over simply in order to get certain items free is, for parents, inexplicable.
And so, Mr. Goyal, I have a suggestion for you – one which might solve your problems for you.
Sell Zomato Gold only to parents with young children. In fact, go a step beyond and say that one of the features of Zomato Gold will be a guaranteed powerbank being made available at the restaurant.
Me, personally, I’ll pay a king’s ransom for an experience like that. And you have my word, if we can get an hour’s conversation in while we’re at the restaurant, I’ll pay for those four drinks myself. Twice.
*If you’re one of those enlightened souls who think that kids shouldn’t be given YouTube in restaurants, here’s some friendly advice: please do not come within the radii of the wife’s handbag when it is attached to her wrist.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime