On the Zomato app, customers always had the option to skip cutlery with their order. However, very few customers used that option. We learnt that it wasn’t because they always wanted the cutlery, but because they weren’t making an active choice. Defaults almost never get changed by customers during product flows. 

We surveyed thousands of our customers, and a whopping 90%+ of them said that they didn’t really need plastic cutlery with their orders. Keeping this in mind, we decided to change the default mode for cutlery – customers will now have to explicitly request for cutlery, tissues, and straws, if they need it. This is now a ‘opt-in’ instead of a ‘opt-out’. 

We all know that plastic is bad for the environment. But did you know that a single plastic spoon can take 200-500 years to decompose? Millions of such plastic spoons get consumed every day, and we all contribute to it. This seemingly small change on the Zomato app will help save up to 5,000 kilos of plastic in one day – that is up to 2 million kilos of plastic in a year. 

This is another small step towards cutting down the carbon and environmental footprint of our food delivery business.

This change will also help our restaurant partners save ₹2-5 (~0.5-1% of order value) on every order going forward. We urge all our restaurant partners to start channeling these cost savings to kickstart the transition towards non plastic packaging.

Our restaurant partners are excited about this change, we do expect some teething issues as we switch to a new default mode. We do not expect 100% compliance from the restaurant-end at the onset. Muscle memory needs to change, and we hope that it will happen over the next few months. We also urge other food aggregators to make this change so that the restaurant industry doesn’t have to shard its muscle memory going forward.

We will depend on our customers to drive compliance here. If a restaurant sends you cutlery when they weren’t supposed to, or doesn’t send cutlery when you had asked for it, please share feedback via the post delivery prompt (asking ‘did the restaurant send you cutlery?’) on the app. We will pass on the feedback to our restaurant partners to ensure greater adherence. 

If you can, please say no to cutlery and help all of us take another small step towards building a environmentally conscious India.

Until next time. 

PS – this feature has already been rolled out to 50% of our customers. This will be rolled out to all customers over the next 3-4 weeks.

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