This article has been written by Anuj Mishra pursuing Diploma in Advanced Contract Drafting, Negotiation and Dispute Resolution.
This article has been published by Sneha Mahawar.
Table of Contents
The idea of ordering food online is not unusual in today’s world. With the help of technology in the form of food delivery apps, the food business has changed over the years. Anyone can place an order for their favourite meal, have it quickly delivered at the convenience of their home or to another location of their choosing, and pay the same price as their preferred restaurant. The most well-known apps among users include Zomato, Dominos, Swiggy, etc.
If the food and customer service are of good quality, there is nothing that can stop a business from growing. In recent years, we’ve seen a lot of third-party players enter this market, and the vast majority of them only offer a platform for the sale of food via food delivery apps, online websites, and mobile devices. We do dozens of activities every day that are covered by contracts, frequently without being aware of the type of legal relationship we are creating. A contract is made, either implicitly or explicitly. We enter into a contract with food delivery platforms, like Zomato, Swiggy, etc., by merely clicking the “Place Order” option on those websites.
Depending on the delivery company and the total order amount, customers can also pay online or with cash at the time of delivery. The various terms and conditions that a food delivery platform should include in its agreement will be covered in this article.
As per a recent amendment in the Consumer Protection Act of 2019, “goods” means every kind of movable property and includes “food” as defined in clause (j) of sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Additionally, It emphasises how important it is for food business owners to respect consumer rights and be aware of their legal responsibilities. All food business operators must be registered or granted a licence in accordance with the provisions of the “Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSSA)”.
Food delivery app terms and conditions
Food delivery apps are applications that give you a way to order food from your favourite restaurant and have it delivered to you for the same price with only a small delivery fee. Thus, technology has benefited the food industry over time by broadening their horizons and lowering inefficient cost methods. The following services are fundamentally provided by the food app/website to its users.
- Allows them to easily search for nearby restaurants.
- It also offers home delivery of food, usually at reduced prices or with special offers; and
- It allows its subscribers/members to eat at the restaurant at deeply discounted prices (inclusive of food and alcohol).
Eligibility to use services
Before using the services, a user must provide every information required for registration such as his name, address, contact details, and email. Generally, the user acknowledges and agrees that post which, the platforms will consider your use of the services thereby approving acceptance of their terms by you.
Compliance of law
All applicable laws must be followed by the user. By using the services offered, you (the user) agree to abide by all laws and regulations that are in effect in the nation in which you reside. You acknowledge that you may only use the services in accordance with the provided terms, and applicable law, and in a way that respects both the platform’s and third parties’ legal rights.
Terms of the services online food ordering
The online food delivery model comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. They have agreements and contractual arrangements with restaurants while providing services through their platform.
By creating an account in the platform, you consent to receive communications related to the same and the services it has to offer. Other customers may leave comments or follow the activity you undertake on your account, for instance. Through your account settings, you can choose not to receive or modify your preferences for non-essential communications.
1. Every FDP must state in its agreement that it offers online food ordering services by entering into principal-to-principal contractual arrangements with restaurants to list their food and beverages for online ordering by users on the FDP (“Restaurant Partners”).
2. The Restaurant Partner shall comply with all applicable laws prohibiting the use of single-use plastic and shall ensure that no single-use plastic is used in the packing of any order and that no single-use plastic cutlery is provided with the order.
3. Restaurant partner acknowledges and agrees that it won’t contact the customer on its own and won’t demand payments from them that are greater than what they agreed to when placing the order through the platform.
4. In order to deliver the food and drinks that users have ordered through FDP, FDP must make it clear that it does not offer any delivery or logistics services and only makes it possible by connecting users with delivery partners or restaurants, as applicable.
5. The FDP is not responsible for any actions or inactions by the delivery partner or restaurant partner, including but not limited to poor service, incorrect delivery of the order, delays in delivering the order, tampering with the order package, etc.
6. Food delivery app or website team has sole discretion to change terms & conditions at any time. If their team changes any content, they will notify you via site or app. You must consent to the modified terms and conditions. You may no longer use the services if you do not agree to be bound by the modified terms.
Refund and cancellation policy
1. After an order has been confirmed by the merchant, the user has no right to cancel it. Any cancellation made after the confirmation will be charged a cancellation fee of up to the amount of the order. The app will update the outstanding section with the cancellation fee, and the user must pay any outstanding balance before placing the subsequent order.
2. In an unavoidable circumstance, the merchant has the sole right to cancel the user’s order. The cancellation will be communicated by the customer executive via their respective platform. There will be no cancellation fee in this case, and the user can place the order again.
3. The refund policy will only apply to orders paid for with a debit card, net banking, or UPI. If the payment is made by cash on delivery, the refund amount will be transferred to the user’s app under the section gift foods. The food gift can be used by the user when placing the next order.
4. Only the following conditions apply to a user’s right to a full refund:
a) The food received is damaged.
b) The food received after the 60-minute deadline varies from one operator to the next from the time the order was confirmed.
c) The food is completely burned.
d) In any other circumstance, there will be no refund issued.
- All orders will be subject to delivery fees.
- The delivery charges will be applicable per invoice/bill in case of multiple orders.
- All disputes are subject to their respective jurisdiction only.
To any of its affiliates or to any other party at any time, the FDP may assign its rights and obligations under these terms and conditions.
Limitation of liability
The FDP will only handle claims/liabilities arising from FDP’s advertised offers/membership plans. The member’s experience with the restaurant partners and any face-to-face interactions the member may have with their representatives or staff are not the responsibility of the FDP. The FDP is not liable to the member in any way if any Restaurant Partners outlet temporarily or permanently ceases operations.
The popularity of the food delivery app business has increased over time as a result of technological advancements. The main objective of the companies now is to offer a platform for users and restaurant owners to interact. Users can place food orders and restaurant owners can sell their food through a food delivery app.
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