Will ‘only veg’ drivers be allowed in ‘pure veg fleet’: Telangana gig workers ask Zomato

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: Shaik Salauddin, the founder-president of the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union (TGPWU) on Tuesday raised questions regarding online food delivery platform Zomato’s decision to introduce a ‘Pure Veg Fleet’.

Following Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal’s announcement of a ‘Pure Veg Mode’ and ‘Pure Veg Fleet’ on the Zomato app, concerns have been raised about the possible exclusion of delivery workers based on their dietary preferences.

“If Zomato has today launched a “Pure Veg Fleet” in response to customer feedback and requirements, then will Zomato in the future also take customer feedback about who can deliver their food and who cannot? Will it filter our delivery brothers and sisters by caste, community, and religion? We would like to remind Zomato that in the past when a customer complained about “having to accept food from a Muslim delivery worker, Zomato stood by the worker and stated that, “Food does not have a religion. It is a religion.” Zomato CEO Deepinder ji also asserted “We are proud of the idea of India and the diversity of our esteemed customers and partners. We aren’t sorry to lose any business that comes in the way of our values,” the TGPWU president asked Goyal, in a press release.

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Will roll back ‘pure veg mode’ if it sees negative social repercussions: Zomato

Zomato rolls back green uniform

 Facing flak over his decision to launch a ‘pure veg mode,’ Zomato Co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal on Wednesday said the company has decided to remove the on-ground segregation of its rider fleet on the ground using the colour green.

Earlier, the riders for ‘pure veg mode’ were supposed to wear only green uniform, not the Zomato’s colour red.

“While we are going to continue to have a fleet for vegetarians, we have decided to remove the on-ground segregation of this fleet on the ground using the colour green. All our riders — both our regular fleet, and our fleet for vegetarians — will wear the colour red,” Goyal posted on X.

Goyal on Tuesday clarified that if the company sees any significant negative social repercussions of this decision, “we will roll it back in a heartbeat”.

It means that the fleet meant for vegetarian orders will not be identifiable on the ground (but will show on the app that your veg orders will be served by the veg only fleet).

“This will ensure that our red uniform delivery partners are not incorrectly associated with non-veg food, and blocked by any RWAs or societies during any special days… our riders’ physical safety is of paramount importance to us,” said the company CEO.

Earlier in the day, Goyal announced the ‘Pure Veg Mode’ along with the ‘Pure Veg Fleet’ on his platform for customers with 100 per cent vegetarian dietary preference.

He said the new mode or fleet doesn’t “serve or alienate any religion or political preference”.

His decision drew flak from various quarters on social media.

However, Goyal admitted that he has received “an overwhelmingly positive response on this launch from so many people”.

A lot of comments from young people who eat non-veg food said that “now my parents can also use Zomato”.

“I would like to repeat that this feature strictly serves a dietary preference. And I know there are a lot of customers who would never order food from a restaurant which serves meat, irrespective of their religion/caste,” the Zomato CEO emphasised.

He also clarified that participation in the veg delivery fleet will not “discriminate on the basis of our delivery partner’s dietary preferences”.

Several people argued that some societies and resident welfare associations (RWAs) will now not let Zomato’s regular fleet in.

“We will stay alert for any such cases and work with these RWAs to not let this happen. We understand our social responsibility due to this change, and we will not back down from solving it when the need arises,” said Goyal.

The ‘Pure Veg Mode’ will consist of a curation of restaurants that serve only vegetarian food and exclude all restaurants that serve non-vegetarian items.

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