By: Rajini KG
May 23 2023
The tweet by Zomato is a joke, made in jest following the RBI’s decision to withdraw ₹2000 notes from September 2023.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on May 19, 2023, announced that the ₹2000 denomination notes will be withdrawn from circulation. While clarifying that the existing notes would still continue to remain legal tender, RBI advised citizens to deposit ₹2000 notes back in banks by September 30, 2023. The ₹2000 banknotes were introduced in November 2016 after the demonetization exercise when the existing ₹500 and ₹1000 notes were withdrawn as legal tender.
Following the announcement, food and restaurant aggregator Zomato uploaded a tweet on May 22, which said, “since Friday, 72% of our cash on delivery orders were paid in ₹2000 notes.” Attached to the tweet was a picture of a man wearing a Zomato t-shirt and lying down on a pile of ₹2000 notes. Several media houses such as NDTV, The Times of India, and The Economic Times reported on this tweet as an official announcement. However, a joke by Zomato has been misinterpreted to be an actual fact.
Logically Facts reached out to a spokesperson in Zomato to confirm whether 72% of its online deliveries were paid in ₹2000 notes since May 19. A Zomato spokesperson informed us that the tweet was a joke and does not in any way denote any official metrics of payments of cash-on-delivery orders. “The tweet was just a joke/ in jest. Not factual,” the spokesperson added.
Another official in Zomato told Logically Facts that the tweet is just a joke on the RBI’s decision to withdraw ₹2000 notes and the recent news of people choosing to get rid of their ₹2000 notes at petrol pumps and restaurants. According to a report in The Hindu, there was an increase in cash purchases at petrol pumps using ₹2,000 notes, and almost 90% of daily sales were made via cash, even for fuel worth ₹100 and ₹200, as customers tried to exchange the higher denomination notes for lower ones.
Zomato often tweets quirky jokes and memes on news and current affairs. In this tweet, Logically Facts found that the image of the man lying down on ₹2000 notes is actually a scene from the series ‘Breaking Bad’. While the original scene shows the character Huell Babineaux wearing a blue t-shirt and lying down on a pile of dollars, the same image has been digitally edited to show Huell wearing a Zomato t-shirt and ₹2000 notes in the background.
We checked the original scene from the series, which shows Heull, played by American comedian Lavell Crawford, standing in front of a large pile of cash. He says, “I gotta do it, man” and then proceeds to lie down on the bed of cash. This scene has also become a popular meme format online, and according to the website ‘Know Your Meme’, is used “usually with captions of people detailing how they received a small amount of money.”
A tweet shared by Zomato as a joke on the RBI’s decision to withdraw ₹2000 notes was reported as an official announcement of the payments the food and restaurant aggregator received on cash-on-delivery orders. Therefore, we have marked the claim false.