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  1. Zomato scraps green uniform for riders delivering veg orders after social media flak

Zomato scraps green uniform for riders delivering veg orders after social media flak

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3 min read • Updated: March 20, 2024, 11:34 AM

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Within 24 hours of announcing a separate fleet of riders for delivering vegetarian orders, Zomato CEO Deepindar Goyal said the plan to assign them a ‘green uniform’ has been scrapped. All the riders working with the food tech firm will continue to wear their red uniforms, he clarified, adding that the decision is aimed at preventing the riders from facing potential discrimination.

Zomato had unveiled the now-scrapped green coloured uniform for the veg fleet on March 19

Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal on Wednesday, March 20, said the company’s decision to assign a separate green uniform for riders delivering vegetarian food has been scrapped. The reversal came within 24 hours of Zomato unveiling the new policy.

The decision is aimed at preventing the riders from facing any kind of discrimination, Goyal said, pointing out that some housing societies may associate the Zomato delivery partners in red uniform with non-vegetarian food and bar their entries during certain festive periods.

Goyal, however, clarified that the company would maintain a separate veg fleet – without a separate uniform – as announced a day earlier.

"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," he posted on social media.

"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 rider's physical safety is of paramount importance to us," he added.

The announcement of a separate veg fleet had stirred a debate on social media on Tuesday, March 19, with several Zomato users claiming that they may face inconvenience on ordering non-veg food, as their food choice would be identified due to the colour of the uniform worn by the delivery partner.

In several housing societies where the majority of residents are vegetarians, ordering non-veg food is frowned upon, some social media users pointed out.

"We now realise that even some of our customers could get into trouble with their landlords, and that would not be nice if that happened because of us," Goyal added on social media. The Zomato chief, however, assured the customers who are in favour of a separate veg fleet that the new policy minus a separate uniform would remain intact. He explained that those customers who order food to be delivered by the ‘veg only’ fleet will be able to find a confirmation related to the same on their mobile application.

While explaining the policy’s rationale on March 19, Goyal had said that “despite everyone's best efforts, sometimes the food spills into the delivery boxes…In those cases, the smell of the previous order travels to the next order, and may lead to the next order smelling of the previous order.”

“For this reason, we had to separate the fleet for veg orders," he had added.

On March 20, Zomato’s stock edged higher during the early hours. The shares were trading at ₹159.80 apiece on the NSE, up 1.17% as against the previous day’s close.