UPDATE: Mo Yildirim, Managing Director for the UAE, told Arabian Business that restaurants on the platform have the choice to work with any delivery company.
“In these challenging times, after safety, our top priority is to ensure business continuity for everyone in our ecosystem, meaning restaurants, riders and customers and our employees. We take this very seriously, and have reached out to those restaurant partners involved to apologise and to reassure all our partners that they have the choice to work with any other platforms or providers,” he said.
Food delivery aggregator Talabat, which also owns Zomato and Carriage, is refusing to allow new restaurants to join its platform unless they are exclusive to its brands.
In emails seen by sister website Arabian Business, Talabat executives refused to on-board a restaurant chain that wouldn’t take exclusivity as part of a deal, saying that due to the “changing market” it was now a prerequisite to joining.
The email said: "In light with the changing market, we [Talabat] have taken the decision to onboard brands exclusively. This is done in order to focus all our support to support partners to achieve the highest possible sales and grow excessively in the market. With that being said, if you wish to register your brand with Talabat, we will proceed with a key partner deal… This will allow you to sign with three platforms (Talabat, Carriage and Zomato).”
It comes amid widespread unhappiness at the refusal of delivery aggregators to renegotiate their commission rates with restaurants, with several prominent members of the F&B industry requesting they do so.
Careem Now and The Entertainer have both reduced or waive their commissions in light of the coronavirus, but so far the larger companies such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Talabat have refused to do so.