Zomato, one of the largest third-party food delivery services in India, announced this week it has launched a fund to support restaurants whose business is impacted by COVID-19. All sales of Zomato Gold memberships in April will go into the Zomato Gold Support Fund, according to a blog post from the company. Proceeds from the fund go towards “restaurant housekeepers, cooks and servers in these uncertain times.”
Zomato Gold is the service’s premium membership pass that gives customers “buy one get one free” deals on purchases. For the month of April, customers can purchase a one-year membership to Zomato Gold for ₹1200 (~$16 USD) or extend an existing membership another year for the same price. Those that do, get an additional year of Zomato Gold for free.
The company notes that anyone receiving these funds will not be required to pay them back (something that’s not been the case with every third-party delivery service’s COVID-19-related offers).
India is currently in the midst of a three-week-long lockdown — the world’s largest — with all factories, markets, shops, houses of worship, and other public spaces closed for the country’s 1.3 billion people. Like other countries around the world, restaurants can continue operating for delivery, but that puts many in-house employees out of work for the time being.
“Restaurant workers face a twofold setback, many have modest backgrounds, and coming from small towns, are stranded away from their homes,” Gaurav Gupta, the cofounder and COO of Zomato, wrote in the company’s blog post. “And a cash-strapped industry is struggling to provide sustenance for them and their families as business comes to an abrupt halt.”
Gupta recently noted that the Zomato Gold fund is currently happening in India and the UAE.