Zomato shuts down Indian customer who complained his delivery driver wasn’t a Hindu

Posted at 8:10 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 03:22:09-04

Restaurant app Zomato has given a dressing down to an Indian customer who complained that his delivery driver was not of the Hindu faith.

“Just cancelled an order on @ZomatoIN they allocated a non hindu rider for my food,” a Twitter user wrote on Tuesday.

Complaining that the company was forcing customers to take deliveries from “people we don’t want,” the customer said he would be raising the issue with his lawyers.

The company responded via its verified Zomato India Twitter account, telling the unhappy customer: “Food doesn’t have a religion. It is a religion.”

The incident comes at a time of increasing religious tensions in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi won another landslide victory in general elections that concluded in May, and minorities and liberals have grown increasingly concerned about the influence of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Following the exchange, Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal underlined the company’s commitment to upholding religious equality.

“We are proud of the idea of India — and the diversity of our esteemed customers and partners,” he tweeted. “We aren’t sorry to lose any business that comes in the way of our values.”

A Zomato spokeswoman declined to comment further on Wednesday.

Food delivery rival Uber Eats also spoke out in support of Zomato’s decision.

“We stand by you,” the US company said in a tweet from its verified India account.

The move angered some Indian Twitter users who said they had uninstalled both apps over what they claimed was unfair discrimination against Hindus. The hashtag #BoycottUberEats was trending in India on Thursday morning, with several users also using #BoycottZomato.

Zomato was founded in 2008 and quickly expanded across Asia, Europe and South America. The company bought Urbanspoon in 2015 to gain access to the United States and Australia.

In June, Zomato announced that it would give six months of paid leave to all new parents among its 5,000 corporate employees worldwide.