There was a news story that reported that many restaurants from which people order on Grubhub or Seamless do not actually exist. The reporter ordered food, then they checked on the location listed as the actual addresses, and in many cases they did not exist. They also asked the delivery guys about the restaurants, but they would not give straight answers. Eventually, they realized that some of the ghost restaurant names actually corresponded to other restaurants.
It was suggested that these online sites would not be held legally liable is a person becomes ill from one of these non-existent restaurants. I am a big fan of these online services, and I’m not trying to crap on them. My experiences with their support and staff has always been exceptional. But, let’s face the facts, this is a very dangerous thing. If we cannot confirm where our food is coming from, we have no way of knowing that the food is being prepared in a fashion that is up to the already crapty standards that are set! Now isn’t that a scary thought?
The services have stated that they would set more stringent procedures to ensure our safety. However, this is something that most of us assumed was already in place. My advice to you folks is that you only order from established places that you actually know exist. Choose restaurants that you have actually been to in person.
As a food writer, I know I like to try new places, but with things like this happening, it’s best to err on the side of safety. I’ll be saving those new places for “in person,” or at least verified orders. I believe that in order to add legitimacy to restaurants, grub hub and seamless should do like Twitter and Facebook and create “verified” restaurants. It’s a simple step that can save everyone a lot of heartache.
Hey, if Zomato can physically send people to the restaurants, why can’t these guys? They might feel protected at the moment, but why sit around and wait for a major lawsuit before fixing what is clearly a glaring issue?