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Metro Detroit restaurant owners say Grubhub added them to service without permission

Food delivery app selling restaurants’ food to customers, owners say

DETROIT – Several local restaurants are upset a food delivery app has been selling their food to customers without their knowledge. They’ve been fighting to get it stopped and claim they were given the run around.

M Street Baking Company in Howell is open for takeout during the pandemic. Like many restaurants they were approached to join Grubhub for food delivery but they declined.

“We found out that they were sending people in pretending just to be regular customers but actually working for Grubhub and delivering our stuff without our knowledge,” said M Street Baking Company co-owner, Emily Mazaris.

And M Street isn’t the only restaurant. Ginopolis Bar-BQ has found their restaurant listed for food delivery on Grubhub too but they never signed up. Both owners have had trouble getting taken off the service.

"It took me three attempts to get through to them to begin with and when I did contact them they said they could not do anything about," said Ginopolis Bar-BQ owner, Melissa Ginopolis.

It took M Street Baking Company two hours on the phone but they were finally able to be taken off of Grubhub a few months ago. After we made a call to the delivery app service Ginopolis Bar-BQ was taken off just two days ago with no questions asked. While many restaurants offer food delivery through Grubhub, M Street, Ginopolis Bar-BQ and others do not want to for their own reasons.

"They were offering milkshakes,” said Mazaris. “We don't put lids on our milkshakes because they go directly to you so now it's going into someone else's car that they can cough on, sneeze on. As a business if I knew that a second party was handling your food I would package your products differently than if I knew it was going right to you."

"They over charge, they price gouge the customers and it's the customer that's the one who sacrifices," said Ginopolis.

A Grubhub company spokesperson released a statement that reads, in part: “We’ll add restaurants to our marketplace when we see local diner demand for delivery so the restaurant can receive more orders and revenue. We believe in partnering with restaurants...and have only added non-partnered restaurants to close the restaurant supply gap created by our competitors.”

“A lot of businesses offer their own delivery, and if they do, I would go direct to the business and if they don’t, well, Grubbub is great,” Mazaris said.

Here is Grubbub’s full statement:

"Our mission since we were founded in 2004 has been to connect hungry diners with great, local restaurants. We partner with more than 155,000 takeout restaurants in over 3,200 U.S. cities, and we provided nearly $6 billion in gross food sales to our local takeout restaurants in 2019, processing an average of more than 500,000 orders a day. The vast majority of our orders are and will continue to be from these restaurants we partner with.

"Starting in late 2019 in select cities across the country, we’ll add restaurants to our marketplace when we see local diner demand for delivery so the restaurant can receive more orders and revenue from deliveries completed by our drivers. This is a model that other food delivery companies have been doing for years as a way to widen their restaurant supply, and we’re trying it as well to create a level playing field. We believe partnering with restaurants is the only way to drive long-term value in this business – and have only added non-partnered restaurants to close the restaurant supply gap created by our competitors.

"We know these are tough times for independent restaurants because people are not eating out and want to help restaurants drive more orders during this challenging time when their dine-in operations are impacted.

“If a restaurant prefers not to be on our marketplace or needs to change any information like menu items or hours, they should reach out to us at restaurants@grubhub.com, and we’ll work as quickly as possible to make necessary updates or remove them. M Street Baking Company was removed from our marketplace on January 31, 2020, and Ginopolis’ Bar-BQ Smokehouse was removed as of today, May 5, 2020.”


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