[Uber]: Disrupting Livery Service (And Ethics)

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    And if the space is rentable on short notice then businesses can scale in such a way to only use the kitchens during high volume times. This reduces the total kitchen space needed for multiple businesses if their peak times are not all at the same time and therefore provides the angle where both businesses can profit from the arrangement.

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  • PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Hmm the end of dine-in, you say

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  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    Cool.
    Sounds like a food health and safety nightmare (no ability to find or regulate the kitchens), and the enablers of ghost/dark kitchens (CloudKitchens, UberEats) should be shut down.

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  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    discrider wrote: »
    Cool.
    Sounds like a food health and safety nightmare, and the enablers of ghost/dark kitchens (CloudKitchens, UberEats) should be shut down.

    Huh?

    Shared kitchens aren't a new thing, and those that operate them as well as those that use them are required to adhere to all food safety regulations and the normal inspection process.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    They're "dark/ghost" because they don't have a store front. They have to pass food/safety inspections the same as a caterer does.. who also don't tend to have storefronts on their kitchens.

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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Really the only thing that really seems like a problem is the start up/shut down cleans. Either some trusted (preferably licensed) third party does it (Cloudkitchens itself/sub contractors) or else it duplicates the effort. I don't see how you can walk in and assume that the last client cleaned to food safety standards without some sort of verification.

  • discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    Ketar wrote: »
    discrider wrote: »
    Cool.
    Sounds like a food health and safety nightmare, and the enablers of ghost/dark kitchens (CloudKitchens, UberEats) should be shut down.

    Huh?

    Shared kitchens aren't a new thing, and those that operate them as well as those that use them are required to adhere to all food safety regulations and the normal inspection process.

    Is this the case with a CloudKitchens and UberEats kitchen?
    I tried looking at the CloudKitchens website to find any licensing requirements, but I was unable to easily locate these, and I doubt UberEats moderates delivery places that list menus through their app sufficiently.

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  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    Really the only thing that really seems like a problem is the start up/shut down cleans. Either some trusted (preferably licensed) third party does it (Cloudkitchens itself/sub contractors) or else it duplicates the effort. I don't see how you can walk in and assume that the last client cleaned to food safety standards without some sort of verification.

    The same way as any other shared kitchen (which have existed for decades, at a bare minimum)? If someone comes in to use the space they've reserved and it's not clean, they'll report it to the owners of the kitchen who will have a policy that will lead to whoever left it dirty being banned from the space if they repeat as offenders. Since the businesses using this space will be operating out of it on a nightly basis (or close to it) they have a vested interest in not being banned from the space, and not being able to actually sell their food and make money.

    I'm sure there's more in place than that - again, shared kitchens are a thing that have existed for decades. Whatever standard procedures have worked just fine for those decades will continue to work now.

    It's not the responsibility of a delivery service like UberEats to moderate kitchen cleanliness, and it shouldn't be. As long as they have some basic standards for operating partners (like possession of a business license and tax ID number and so on) that's fine. Kitchen moderation should be solely the responsibility of local health departments.

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  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    I mean there’s a lot more to food safety than cleaning up afterwards, so the “keep using the space” incentive is not nearly enough.

    I imagine it is a lot harder for the health department to keep on top of kitchens which vanish and move periodically.

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  • GoumindongGoumindong Registered User regular
    The kitchens do not vanish and move periodically.

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  • evilmrhenryevilmrhenry Registered User regular
    https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/seamless-restaurant-grubhub-fake-eatery-unregulated-kitchen-investigation-i-team-new-york-city/2013699/
    Julie Menin, the city's Consumer Affairs Commissioner, said her office has also found ghost restaurants using unregistered names and false addresses. She believes some of the Seamless and GrubHub ads may actually be fronts for unregulated kitchens.
    The I-Team found a kitchen on 44th Street registered to a non-retail commissary operated by Green Summit Group LLC. The kitchen sold Latin food, barbecue and gluten-free meals from a least six different Seamless and GrubHub menus. None of the menu names appeared in the Health Department restaurant database because commissaries aren't considered restaurants and don't get grades.

    A spokeswoman for the Health Department said commissaries are not allowed to deliver straight to consumers.

    To be fair, this was back in 2015, and Grubhub and Seamless pledged to fix the problems. My point with this is more that, while the actual kitchens don't move around, the use of a virtual kitchen to prepare food means the customer doesn't know where the food was really prepared. That can cover up a lot of problems, and requires the platform to be working with regulators to insure nobody is doing anything they shouldn't. (They have little financial incentive to actually do this.)

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  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    I mean there’s a lot more to food safety than cleaning up afterwards, so the “keep using the space” incentive is not nearly enough.

    I imagine it is a lot harder for the health department to keep on top of kitchens which vanish and move periodically.


    Remember when I talked about standard procedures that have worked just fine for shared kitchens for decades?

    Here's the website for a shared kitchen in Chicago: http://kitchenchicago.com/faq

    They require you to sign a user agreement, provide a copy of your City of Chicago Food Service Sanitation Certificate, and provide proof of liability insurance with Kitchen Chicago added as an additional insured. They also require a valid Shared Kitchen User license from the City if Chicago (though that requirement is listed on a different part of the site and not in the FAQ).

    The FAQ also specifies that users are expected to wash their dishes, wipe down work surfaces and equipment, and sweep and mop. The kitchen provides cleaning supplies and handles periodic deep cleans.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I mean, there are also restaurants that just ignore food standards.

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  • KetarKetar Ready to feel better about your own miserable lives?Registered User regular
    edited December 2019
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    I mean, there are also restaurants that just ignore food standards.

    I had a relative who was the chief health inspector for a suburb of Chicago for years. The much beloved award-winning pizza and Italian restaurant that always used to get written up in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times when they would do pieces about pizza in the area? Filthiest restaurant in town, by far. Nobody else got cited anywhere near as much as they did, and some of the things he told me put me off eating there entirely even though I loved their pizza. Cleanest restaurant in town, year after year? Fucking Wendy's.

    Stories I could tell from kitchens I've been in, or even more so about popular places all around Chicago that I've heard about from former pastry school classmates who've worked there, would disgust people. Most people have absolutely no idea what's going on in a restaurant kitchen, or in their food storage areas. Putting out a good or popular product doesn't tell you anything about what's actually happening in the places the public can't see.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Goumindong wrote: »
    And if the space is rentable on short notice then businesses can scale in such a way to only use the kitchens during high volume times. This reduces the total kitchen space needed for multiple businesses if their peak times are not all at the same time and therefore provides the angle where both businesses can profit from the arrangement.

    It also allows businesses to not have delivery agents tying up their retail front ends as well, which has become a problem as of late.

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  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    I feel like I've seen pizza shops and the like do this for years. I know here in town there's a pizza chain, and some stores are proper ones you can sit down in, while others are nothing but a kitchen and a counter that only do pick-up or delivery.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    I feel like I've seen pizza shops and the like do this for years. I know here in town there's a pizza chain, and some stores are proper ones you can sit down in, while others are nothing but a kitchen and a counter that only do pick-up or delivery.

    What we're talking about is one step beyond "literal just takeout/delivery place" but yeah, thay sort of idea.

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  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    I feel like I've seen pizza shops and the like do this for years. I know here in town there's a pizza chain, and some stores are proper ones you can sit down in, while others are nothing but a kitchen and a counter that only do pick-up or delivery.

    It's common in different areas. Carry out lets an entrepreneur open a restaurant far more cheaply and have much lower maintenance and rent costs so they're common in urban and low income areas where either real estate or liquid cash are in short supply.

    But yeah, over the last couple decades they're increasingly common on a larger scale since they have distinct advantages making them popular with customers too. Food is usually cheaper and provided faster than a sit down restaurant.

    I watch too many business history videos.

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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited January 28
    Did you know that Uber forces its passengers into mandatory binding arbitration agreements? Thankfully, they're too incompetent to do it right:
    When you download Uber’s app, you agree that you’re older than 18, that you’re not using a stolen credit card to pay your driver, and — if you’re like one Philadelphia woman and fracture your spine in a Center City car crash — that you won’t seek a jury trial against the ride-share giant.

    But, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has ruled that, because Uber can’t prove that Jillian Kemenosh actually read the company’s terms and conditions before she signed up or rode in the car that ran a red light, she can’t be forced to settle her claims behind closed doors.

    Philadelphia drivers’ lawsuit a risk to Uber as tech giant prepares to go public
    Sitting in the back seat of an Uber in March 2018, Kemenosh was more than halfway home on a four-mile trip from Columbus Boulevard to her Center City apartment when the driver of the 2010 Toyota Highlander ran a red light at 16th and Vine Streets, crashing into another vehicle.

    Suffering a fracture to her spine, concussion, and traumatic brain injury, Kemenosh sued Uber, its local subsidiaries, and the driver, requesting a jury to determine her payout.

    But, Uber argues in court documents, by approving the ride-share’s “terms and conditions” when she downloaded the app in 2013, Kemenosh had already forfeited her right to a jury, agreeing instead to resolve any legal disputes only through binding arbitration, which forces users to waive their rights to sue and settle matters privately.

    Proponents of arbitration say that it’s faster and cheaper than court. But critics say it revokes a consumer’s right to publicly take action against a company.

    “Our entire judicial system is founded on a trial by jury,” said Kemenosh’s lawyer, Joseph L. Messa Jr.

    In a 19-page opinion this month, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Abbe F. Fletman sided with Kemenosh, determining that because the app makes it possible to register for Uber’s services without clicking on a hyperlink to review the company’s terms of service, “the registration process did not properly communicate an offer to arbitrate under Pennsylvania law.”

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