KARACHI: The All Pakistan Restaurant Association (APRA) has protested over the unfair practices by foodpanda and boycotted, also announced to stop food delivery from September 15, 2020 in the first phase in Karachi.
In a letter of complaint to the CEO of the company, Muhammad Naeem Siddiqui, chairman APRA apprised their member’s grievances and concerns, pointing out that foodpanda repeatedly pressed for increase in commission and non-implementation of the agreement and made some important demands. In which it is clearly stated that if unfair practices will not stop then APRA consider to stop work with foodpanda on a permanent basis.
“Vendor Delivery was the original concept by foodpanda and FP’s own delivery was launched as an optional service. Forcing restaurants to close their Vendor Delivery, which has not only increased unemployment but have “disconnected” them from customers and is not acceptable at all. We demand Vendor Delivery to be operational for all regardless of the size of the brand”, he added.
APRA chairman said that majority of our members are being pressurized to increase commissions but our industry already runs on razor thin margins and it’s impossible to pay 25-35pc commissions for aggregation services. It is especially difficult for new entrants, as their startup costs gets drastically higher. We need to ensure that there is a cap on commission that foodpanda may charge.
“Managers blackmail APRA members to increase the commission many folds, for e.g. from 18pc to be increased to 25pc, threatening and shutting their brands from your portal. This is the most unethical way of extorting any member to accept foodpanda terms & conditions and it needs to be stopped immediately”, Naeem demanded.
APRA president opined that our members have also complained that foodpanda ask them to work with restaurants exclusively which falls under anti-competitive business conduct and can be challenged in Competition Commission of Pakistan.
He further said that Restaurant industry was majorly hit during Covid-19 and now is the time when they need maximum support from their stakeholders. We did raise similar concerns earlier but there has been no permanent solution from their higher-ups, which has lead us to announce Suspension of Services by all our members.
APRA president warned that all APRA members will be closing their tablets from 15th September onwards initially in Karachi and if no resolution is achieved, we will be left with no option than to close the services permanently nationwide.