Zomato has made it mandatory for its delivery partners to go through a police verification, the company said in a press release issued today.
“Safety of end consumers should be a collective responsibility of all involved parties and we should take it very seriously. Zomato does not employ our own fleet of delivery personnel, we just enable users to place their orders online at restaurants, and the restaurant employs delivery boys (or a third-party logistics firms deploys delivery boys), but we understand that this concern is a serious one. We are working with our logistics partners Grab, and Delhivery, to ensure police verification is done for all food delivery personnel, and with NRAI (National Restaurant Association of India) to advise restaurants to do so for their own delivery personnel as well,” said Pankaj Chaddah, Co-Founder.
This is in response to an online petition by Tejasvini Naik urging Zomato to ensure background checks and training for its delivery team to provide a safe food delivery option for women. The petition has gathered over 30,000 supporters as of now.
In her letter to Deepinder Goyal, Founder and CEO, Zomato, Naik said: Zomato, implement background verification for all your delivery boys and recommend the same for the restaurants you work with to keep your women customers safe. These are your employees and representatives, and we would like to know that it's safe for them to have our phone numbers and addresses. It is your responsibility to implement this and reassure all your customers.
Grab, food delivery startup, had from the onset made police verification mandatory for its delivery personnel, said Pratish Sanghvi, Founder.
The food delivery segment is a huge chunk of the industry. According to data released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India in 2015, the online food delivery market was Rs 350 crore in 2014, registering a growth of 40 percent. It accounted for 17 percent of the online services market.
The NRAI has come out in support of Chaddah. Riyaaz Amlani, President said that the, "NRAI will work closely with the restaurant partners to educate them on the importance of vetting the delivery staff they onboard, as well as the importance of asking their logistics partners to do the same in turn. The NRAI has been instrumental in providing the right guidance and advice to the Indian restaurant fraternity and will continue to do so in the future."