Park Ridge Restaurant Complains That Grubhub Is Selling Its Food For Delivery Without Permission

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (CBS) — The next time you place a delivery order, you may not get exactly what’s on the menu.

A Park Ridge restaurant said Chicago-based Grubhub is selling its food for delivery without its consent.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole went digging for answers, and found out Grubhub admits that is how it does business.

In the kitchens of Holt’s Restaurant, at 43 S. Prospect Ave. in Park Ridge, they’ve decided to cook up high-end pub grub – food they don’t want to market for delivery.

“Everything is fresh. We don’t have a freezer,” said Holt’s co-owner Brad Doyle. “We just feel that our cuisine wouldn’t travel well.”

But log onto the restaurant delivery site Grubhub, and you’ll see Holt’s is listed as a top delivery choice in Park Ridge.

“They’re falsely representing our business,” Doyle said.

Doyle only found out when a Grubhub delivery driver showed up for pick-up.

Grubhub would call the order in disguising as a pickup customer, and then would send a driver to pick up the food.

Grubhub admitted that in “markets across the country” where they “see demand for takeout,” restaurants will be listed without the consent of owners. They also say they’re “happy to remove” those restaurant listings at the owner’s request.

Doyle tried to request that for Holt’s.

“You get the runaround,” he said. “You’ll sit on hold for a while.”

Doyle said he waited on hold for 20 minutes, and might have to call back every day until the matter was resolved.

“Part of that is to frustrate you so you give up,” he said.

Grubhub and other food delivery services have been under legal scrutiny for the fees they charge restaurants, and face possibly stricter regulation in other cities like New York.

In the case of Holt’s, Doyle said Grubhub had taken the restaurant’s own photos of menu offerings for its listing.

“These pictures are directly off of our social media, and you can tell they’re really bad quality; pixilated,” Doyle said.

Doyle also takes issue with how Grubhub represents his restaurant online, including unknown versions of his logo, and icons indicating supposed top-selling items.

“How Grubhub would know our top menu items are – it’s just complete fabrication,” he said. “It’s deceiving, on top of everything else.

Holts said they had the exact same problem with competitor Doordash just a few months ago.

Gerasole spoke to the Illinois Restaurant Association. Because of member complaints, they’re working with both the state and the city on stricter regulations for food delivery services.