Zomato is facing criticism from some consumers for defending its decision to not change the food delivery executive for a customer, who objected to the executive being a “non-Hindu.” Soon after the food aggregator defended its move on Wednesday and tweeted that food doesn’t have a religion, several people on social media started complaining about how the company is fine if some customers want specifically Halal meat. The company, in its defence, said that the Halal tag on the Zomato app is a result of restaurants seeking that distinction. Nonetheless, a large number of Zomato users have started leaving one-star reviews on Google Play and App Store to voice their disagreement with the company.
While responding to Zomato’s original tweet that was posted on Wednesday emphasising that food doesn’t have a religion, various Twitter users started pointing out why it favours customers who want specifically Halal meat if it doesn’t believe in any particular religion of food.
“If food does not have religion, why are there Halal foods, and why do you apologies (sic) for delivering non-Halal food to someone who wanted Halal food?” one person tweeted while objecting Zomato’s favour for some customers who had ordered food made using Halal meat in the past.
Defending its move, Zomato in a public letter later on Wednesday said that it’s not playing any role in categorising Halal and non-Halal food and uses the Halal tag just to help users make a more informed choice.
“The halal tag on Zomato is a result of restaurants seeking that distinction — not us as an aggregator,” the company said in the letter, adding, “We provide this information, so that you, as a customer, can make an informed choice about whether you want to eat Halal meat, or not. As an aggregator, it’s imperative that we showcase all the various facets that a restaurant would like us to display to its potential customers.”
Specifically on why there isn’t any particular categorisation for Jhatka meat, which is prepared using a method that is contrary to Halal, Zomato said that it hasn’t yet made any consideration since there are no organised units for Jhatka meat. “As a direct consequence of this gap in authentication, Zomato doesn’t yet feature the jhatka tag on its platform — but might do that soon if customers demand that tag from us,” the company said.
Meanwhile, several people, who don’t seem to agree with Zomato’s stance have started leaving one-star reviews on Google Play and App Store. The company’s latest explanation over Halal tag hasn’t helped.
“This app is communalising the Indian society and wrongly shaming Hindu religion with its current Hindu-only rider tweet,” one of the users who have left a one-star review on Google Play said.
Another user on Google Play alleged that he’s uninstalling the Zomato app from his phone just because of the dual character with two different religions.
Similar responses can be found on the App Store listing as well. “The focus is pretty clear as Zomato wants to highlight the importance of a community and their Halal food certification as a priority while forgetting other people’s concerns and sentiments. Bye Bye Zomato, hello Swiggy/ Uber/ Foodpanda,” a reviewer wrote on the App Store alongside leaving a one-star rating.