Local restaurants being added to Grubhub, DoorDash without knowing it

ST. FRANCIS (CBS 58) – Food delivery apps like Grubhub and DoorDash are growing in popularity, but with it is a growing problem.

Local restaurants say they are being added to the apps without their permission.

It happened recently at 42 Ale House in St. Francis.

Owner Tony Nilles got a call from a customer with a question about their DoorDash order.  Nilles was confused because he never signed up for the service.

“I googled ourselves,” said Nilles, “and there’s a link for DoorDash there, so that’s really bizarre right?”

Nilles later found out that DoorDash adds restaurants without asking the owners.  It happens with Grubhub as well.

Recent Facebook posts show it happening all over Milwaukee, and something Nilles isn’t happy with.

“I don’t want to participate with the company that I know nothing about that is trying to rope me in,” said Nilles.

A DoorDash spokesperson responded with this information when we reached out:

  • DoorDash launched over 6 years ago with one goal – to help local businesses thrive by being their last-mile logistics partner. Today we reach more than 4,000 cities across all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Australia, offering customers on-demand access to the widest selection of restaurants.
  • As a platform, our goal is to create value by connecting customers with their local restaurants. We do so both through partnership as well as operating as a courier service for consumers who want to access their favorite local restaurants.
  • DoorDash matches supply and demand across three different audiences – restaurants, customers and Dashers. If a restaurant offers orders to go, and customers want it delivered, we’ll connect them with a Dasher to provide that service.
  • For restaurants that want to provide additional operational efficiencies and receive data analytics for their orders, we provide the opportunity to partner with us in a more formal relationship.
  • Regardless of the formal or informal relationship, restaurants have told us that they’ve seen increased, incremental sales, new customers and improved operations thanks to our ordering apps and delivery services.
  • Importantly, for any restaurant that wants to be removed from the platform at any time, we will do so immediately upon their request. Additionally, we encourage any listing that wants to access our full suite of products to please reach out.

Grubhub responded as well:

“To help restaurants drive additional online delivery orders and revenue while giving diners even more options for delivery, we are adding non-partnered restaurants in a number of our markets, including Milwaukee. Should a restaurant not want to be on our platform or need to change any information like menu items or hours, they should reach out to our care team and we’ll be happy to make necessary updates or remove them.”

Both companies said if a restaurant wants to be removed they can, but Nilles says it took more than a week.

“Now I’m doing support calls and doing forms just to be removed from a service I never signed up for,” he said.

To make matters worse, DoorDash used an old menu with items they don’t offer anymore. “To see an old menu on there and think, ‘oh man are hundreds of people going to try and order this item? Are thousands of people going to try and order this item?’ It’s super frustrating,” he said.

It’s a frustration he says is unnecessary,  and one he hopes doesn’t hurt his business. “You want to serve your customers the best that you can and you feel like you can’t do that all of a sudden because you’ve lost control of the situation,” said Nilles.