Not all restaurants on food delivery apps want to be there

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One local restaurant owner said his business is on a food delivery app, but without his permission.

Apps like DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats let people order from restaurants online, and then the food gets delivered to their door.

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy explained why that restaurant owner is frustrated, and how often this happens.

“I have used these apps before myself,” Cudahy said. “I’ve even used it when I’m in the live truck at work and am stuck somewhere working a story. It’s so convenient, but do you ever wonder what happens before the food gets to you?”

On Brown Street near the University of Dayton, there are plenty of people who have used these apps. 

“Pretty good experiences,” one patron said.

There are so many ways to get food from so many places without ever stepping outside. 

But as app users scroll the list of restaurant choices, it might not ever occur to them that some of the restaurants listed might not want to be. 

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“It doesn’t feel right as a business owner to be dealing with that,” said Jon Thomas, owner of Doubleday’s Grill & Tavern. 

Right now, Thomas said his restaurants in Centerville and Springboro are listed on Grubhub, but he never approved it. Also, he said the menu on the app has all sorts of mistakes. 

Doubleday’s also ended up on DoorDash a few years back. 

Thomas said he has seen cases of drivers being late to pick up food, and customers then unhappy. 

“Our biggest fear is that an end user think we OK’d to be on Grubhub or DoorDash or whoever it is and have a bad experience and lead that back to us,” Thomas said. 

DoorDash admitted it will put restaurants on its app without permission, but does try to call restaurants first. 

“While the majority of the merchants on our platform have partnerships with us we will occasionally offer to act as a courier service for customers,” DoorDash stated. 

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The company said it will take down restaurants if they ask. 

Grubhub also said it takes down restaurants if they ask, and that originally it only listed partnered restaurants.

“As other food delivery companies have chosen to list non-partnered restaurants on their marketplaces for years to widen their supply of restaurants, we’re now trying this strategy in select markets as a way to close the restaurant supply gap and drive more delivery orders to local restaurants,” the company stated.

Thomas said he thinks the sites should be asking the restaurants first, not the other way around. 

“There’s definitely a better way to go about it,” he said. 

As for Doubleday’s, Thomas said Grubhub had taken the listing down, but that now it’s back on the app.