[Fuck The Gig Economy]: AB5 Is Here

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    My local sushi place charges higher prices on Grubhub than if you phone them directly, which seems like a good way of dealing with things.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    Yeah its going to very quickly become "the GE tax"

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  • Martini_PhilosopherMartini_Philosopher Registered User regular
    Does Grubhub etc *have* to take such a big cut? From my own experience, Steam really took off because it took a much smaller cut than all the other web portals. How much does it really cost to send a message from a customer view of an app to a restaurant view of an app?

    From what I remember, Steam started out by taking 30% and it only got smaller as time went. Part of what made it popular was how it was for the longest time the only platform on PC doing what it was doing. Without the second thing, I doubt the first would have happened.

    It has nothing to do with the cost of sending the order to the restaurant. It has to do with why Uber wants the demand pricing model to prevail over set fees per trip or mile that taxi services have to abide by. The more Grubhub can charge while keeping their costs the same, the more money they make. They have no reason to keep their prices down while the elasticity of demand allows them to charge as much as they can get away with.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    My local sushi place charges higher prices on Grubhub than if you phone them directly, which seems like a good way of dealing with things.

    Most places don't get to set prices on delivery services. It actually drives customers away from what would be normal business for restaurants with their own delivery service.

    You don't spend $30 through GrubHub at local food place because Pizza Hut is cheaper. Not knowing that local food place has free delivery and the menu is several dollars cheaper per entree than GrubHub.

    GrubHub is at the top of your search results for delivery next to the big chains. They may even have squatted on the domain you wanted and redirected to their website.

    Edit: This happened to a couple local Chinese restaurants that had delivery.

    dispatch.o on
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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Does Grubhub etc *have* to take such a big cut? From my own experience, Steam really took off because it took a much smaller cut than all the other web portals. How much does it really cost to send a message from a customer view of an app to a restaurant view of an app?

    From what I remember, Steam started out by taking 30% and it only got smaller as time went. Part of what made it popular was how it was for the longest time the only platform on PC doing what it was doing. Without the second thing, I doubt the first would have happened.

    There were plenty of game portals on PC at the time, they typically charged 70%. Steam only charging 30% was an enormous shift that made the indie game scene really take off.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Gim wrote: »
    And if you thought Doordash is a scam, you have no idea:
    Doordash was causing him real problems. The most common was, Doordash delivery drivers didn't have the proper bags for pizza so it inevitably would arrive cold. It led to his employees wasting time responding to complaints and even some bad Yelp reviews.

    But he brought up another problem - the prices were off. He was frustrated that customers were seeing incorrectly low prices. A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash.

    My first thought: I wondered if Doordash is artificially lowering prices for customer acquisition purposes.

    My second thought: I knew Doordash scraped restaurant websites. After we discussed it more, it was clear that the way his menu was set up on his website, Doordash had mistakenly taken the price for a plain cheese pizza and applied it to a 'specialty' pizza with a bunch of toppings.

    My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!

    But this is the kicker:
    Tricking businesses onto your platform and creating additional headaches for small business owners in the pursuit of Softbankian growth is a bad as it gets. Many restauranteurs were complaining about their Google listings being "hijacked" by Doordash, sometimes even usurping their own preferred delivery.

    These underhanded tricks aren't unique to Doordash though. In recent weeks there has been some great work coming out around a Yelp - Grubhub phone scam. This one is just priceless (seriously, read this Buzzfeed piece). Grubhub for their own sites generates a phone number for each restaurant that goes to a centralized, Grubhub owned call center. If someone calls in and orders via this number, the restaurant gets charged a fee. Apparently, some enterprising BD folks came up with the idea that Yelp could put the Grubhub phone numbers in place of the real restaurant phone number on the Yelp listing. Customers who think they’re “helping” their local restaurants by calling in the order are still creating a fee for Grubhub.

    Which brings us to the question - what is the point of all this? These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?

    Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

    Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

    Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division” 😂😂. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

    Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

    There's a very good comment under that article:
    I was the former Head of Innovation at Grubhub, so I have seen the truth behind many of these claims first hand. Sadly, I invented a lot of the food delivery technologies that are now being used for evil. There were so many great points made here, and I’m glad people are finally paying attention to this. I will try to only add to a few.

    COVID-19 is exposing the fact that delivery platforms are not actually in the business of delivery. They are in the business of finance. In many ways, they are like payday lenders for restaurants and drivers. They give you the sensation of cash-flow, but at the expense of your long term future and financial stability. Once you “take out this loan” you will never pay it back and it will ultimately kill your business.

    In the case of restaurants, these platforms slowly siphon off your customers and then charge you to have access to them. They are simultaneously selling these same customers to your competitor across the street, but, don’t worry, they are also selling their customers to you.

    For drivers, they are banking on a workforce that is willing to mortgage their assets, like cars and time, well below market value, in exchange for money now. They know that most delivery drivers are simply not doing the math on the actual cost of providing delivery (time, gas, car maintenance, payroll taxes...etc). If they did, drivers would realize that they are actually the ones subsidizing the cost of delivery.

    Delivery platforms are “hyper-growth” businesses that are trying to grow into a no-growth industry. Food consumption really only grows at the rate of population growth, so if you want to grow faster than that, you have to take market share from someone else. Ideally, you take it from someone weaker, who has less information. In this industry, the delivery platforms have found unsuspecting victims in restaurants and drivers.

    The competition for customers has not gone away. It has simply moved online. Many restaurants have been too slow, or unwilling to adapt. Delivery platforms and other restaurants are taking advantage of this to gobble up market share. Restaurants need to realize that they are now running e-commerce businesses and they need to act accordingly. Being proficient on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the dozens of other platforms is no longer optional, it is essential.

    His gooseshit attempt to blame restaurant owners at the end is disgusting. As one owner points out:
    I want to be very clear, the problem is NOT that we are paying them for their services. The problem is that they are actively using our brand name to advertise to customers that are already looking for us. They are redirecting those customers to their platform where they can purchase from a competitor or they can charge us a fee to provide food to that same customer. Whereas the customer could have just gone to our website and ordered directly from our online ordering store and we would not be charged a commission to GrubHub or DoorDash.

    Being that we are partners of DoorDash and GrubHub, I have personally reached out to them multiple times. I’ve spent hours on the phone with each of them to get them to stop this practice. For a while, they stop, but then, they start up again. Which they both just did recently. Our only recourse is to immediately terminate our contract with GrubHub and DoorDash, which we are considering doing.

    The problem is that if we cancel, does that mean they will actually stop stealing customers that are looking for our restaurant and directing them to our competitors? We don’t know. I doubt it, but we will find out.

    DoorDash and GrubHub have a long history of screwing their partners. Grubhub has used thousands of fake websites to upcharge commission fees from real businesses. They also list phone numbers that don’t belong to the actual business. DoorDash has been accused of stealing the tips of its drivers.

    The problem is not that restaurant owners need to understand e-commerce. The problem is that GrubHub, DoorDash, etc. are unethical geese who falsely inject themselves in as middlemen with underhanded techniques that companies like Google and Yelp enable, then use that clout to, in a very real way, hold restaurants hostage.

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  • GONG-00GONG-00 Registered User regular
    It's a modern protection racket with venture capital backing.

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  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    SkipTheDishes is the service I have stuck with.

    The articles that I have read usually lump them in with DoorDash, but then put in caveats that Skip usually works harder to make sure that the restaurant is still making a profit on every order.

    Skip has also added an option to tip the restaurant as well as tip the driver, and neither counts towards the percentage they base their fees on.

    Though having brought them up, I am now bracing myself for the horrible stories from behind the scenes

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  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    How does somebody just install hardware in your building without your knowledge or consent? Like, didn't somebody ask the owner / corporate what was going on?

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Guys, SliceLine was supposed to be a joke.

    But seriously, the idea that GrubHub or DoorDash can just insert themselves between you and your customers, including replacing your website or phone number with theirs (then demand a fee for access to your own customers) is fucking obscene. That the pizzeria owner figured out what was up and milked it for every possible dollar warms my heart.

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  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited May 19
    very few places around here delivered before doordash/grubhub, like anything other than pizza and one chinese place you were basically SOL

    override367 on
    Moridin889
  • Moridin889Moridin889 Registered User regular
    My company has that you order through our app and then doordash comes and gets it if you want delivery. We're not available on their storefront at all. We also have a hefty delivery charge on there to pay for the service. We get complaints all the time about our delivery charge but have doordash charge us less, your delivery fee would be less.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    very few places around here delivered before doordash/grubhub, like anything other than pizza and one chinese place you were basically SOL

    Same. It was pizza, Chinese, and like one local sandwich shop (that would deliver to any classroom on campus...great for late-night lab work). Outside that, your ass was picking it up. So there was definitely a gap to be filled by these companies, just as there was a gap to be filled by Uber/Lyft. In many cities, taxi service was utter shit and a last resort of the desperate.

    The issue, of course, is what they've filled the gap with.

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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Krieghund wrote: »
    How does somebody just install hardware in your building without your knowledge or consent? Like, didn't somebody ask the owner / corporate what was going on?

    They literally plugged in a wifi enabled device in an obscured area in our currently closed bar seating. We have no idea when, and none of management nor the owners knew, because I asked them.

    It was basically a locked down iPad with Doordashes interface on it for their drivers to check in/out when picking stuff up from us. It had probably been there two weeks, because that part of the restaurant is closed to customers and unlit, no reason at all for us to be there since barside is completely shut down.

  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Keep in mind we offer in house delivery. They straight up cut our drivers out of deliveries from our shop, or at least tried to.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Moridin889 wrote: »
    My company has that you order through our app and then doordash comes and gets it if you want delivery. We're not available on their storefront at all. We also have a hefty delivery charge on there to pay for the service. We get complaints all the time about our delivery charge but have doordash charge us less, your delivery fee would be less.

    And, if you let DoorDash place orders and charge a lower delivery fee, they'd hike the price of all the items and keep the difference. The customer pays the same, but of course the customer is a fucking moron and feels better about paying a higher menu price and lower fee. They just see the fee.

    People are very bad at assessing prices and total costs in general. Charge a flat service charge and no tips, people only see the higher menu price. Charge a lower menu price and no delivery fee, now suddenly they only see the fee. Spirit makes an entire business model out of charging like eight bucks for airfare but then charging for every possible add-on, until the average passenger with a single carry-on winds up saving maybe $10 off an Alaska ticket (and gets to fly Spirit...yay). JC Penney damn near went bankrupt (like years ago) by trying to just have normal, predictable prices instead of inflated prices and constant rotating sales. Because customers are fucking stupid.

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  • DoodmannDoodmann Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Moridin889 wrote: »
    My company has that you order through our app and then doordash comes and gets it if you want delivery. We're not available on their storefront at all. We also have a hefty delivery charge on there to pay for the service. We get complaints all the time about our delivery charge but have doordash charge us less, your delivery fee would be less.

    And, if you let DoorDash place orders and charge a lower delivery fee, they'd hike the price of all the items and keep the difference. The customer pays the same, but of course the customer is a fucking moron and feels better about paying a higher menu price and lower fee. They just see the fee.

    People are very bad at assessing prices and total costs in general. Charge a flat service charge and no tips, people only see the higher menu price. Charge a lower menu price and no delivery fee, now suddenly they only see the fee. Spirit makes an entire business model out of charging like eight bucks for airfare but then charging for every possible add-on, until the average passenger with a single carry-on winds up saving maybe $10 off an Alaska ticket (and gets to fly Spirit...yay). JC Penney damn near went bankrupt (like years ago) by trying to just have normal, predictable prices instead of inflated prices and constant rotating sales. Because customers are fucking stupid.

    This is one of my favorite stories.

    I want to bring it up every time someone starts villifying marketers. There are so many examples that public in general behaves like the dumbest morons imaginable and would much rather be out right lied to about pretty much everything. Even when it's blatant and obvious. Sometimes being blatant is even better because the dumb moron gets the self satisfaction of "knowing what's going on"

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  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Krieghund wrote: »
    How does somebody just install hardware in your building without your knowledge or consent? Like, didn't somebody ask the owner / corporate what was going on?

    They literally plugged in a wifi enabled device in an obscured area in our currently closed bar seating. We have no idea when, and none of management nor the owners knew, because I asked them.

    It was basically a locked down iPad with Doordashes interface on it for their drivers to check in/out when picking stuff up from us. It had probably been there two weeks, because that part of the restaurant is closed to customers and unlit, no reason at all for us to be there since barside is completely shut down.

    So you kept it and sold it on ebay, right? Or, sold it back to whoever illegally put it there, right?

  • TNTrooperTNTrooper Registered User regular
    Krieghund wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Krieghund wrote: »
    How does somebody just install hardware in your building without your knowledge or consent? Like, didn't somebody ask the owner / corporate what was going on?

    They literally plugged in a wifi enabled device in an obscured area in our currently closed bar seating. We have no idea when, and none of management nor the owners knew, because I asked them.

    It was basically a locked down iPad with Doordashes interface on it for their drivers to check in/out when picking stuff up from us. It had probably been there two weeks, because that part of the restaurant is closed to customers and unlit, no reason at all for us to be there since barside is completely shut down.

    So you kept it and sold it on ebay, right? Or, sold it back to whoever illegally put it there, right?

    Could report a mysterious device to your local police's EOD unit.

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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Giggles_Funsworth
  • BlarghyBlarghy Registered User regular
    Not that DoorDash isn't shady, but it sounds incredibly more likely that instead of them deploying a ninja team to secretly install an ipad in your closed shop, that someone just isn't fessing up to letting them in. DoorDash -will- put merchants on their network without permission, but the way they do it is to just find a copy of your menu, put it on their site, and then have their drivers come and place the order and pay through their red cards (prepaid mastercards).

    Aphostile
  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    edited May 19
    It was in an area accessible to the public still (We do touch-less carryout, kinda a neat system tbh), but customers can walk into the bar seating if they wanted. No need for ninjas, just someone putting it down and plugging it in. I confirmed with the entire management team AND the owners, who I have known for 15+ years. Mainly because if they had signed us up with Doordash I was going to quit, because the entire reason for doing that job is for delivery tips. Which have been crazy high. Losing even 1-2 an hour represents a huge amount of lost income for those drivers. They were adamant that they hadn't authorized anything, and I believe them. They were livid.

    And yes, you described exactly what happened. They pulled our menu, listed everything at the wrong prices, charged no fees, and placed what were from our POS system's perspective carryout orders online, something you can do through our corporate site (we are a franchise with a couple of stores). Why someone dropped the Ipad off I have no idea, but it had clear Doordash branding and software installed. It would have allowed us to be available for delivery on the Doordash site, which still has a distorted version of our menu on it, but lists us as *closed!* unless someone toggled a setting on the iPad. I poked around with every menu I could find on the device, which was basically a standard wifi connection menu, and a toggle for setting our store as open. Any other functionality was locked down, and I didn't toggle us online because no way little ole me is gonna do that, so I can't speak to any further functionality.

    I have no further info than that, I have no idea who dropped it off and when. I just found the damn thing.

    Meeqe on
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Holy forking shirtballs @everything

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Gim wrote: »
    And if you thought Doordash is a scam, you have no idea:
    Doordash was causing him real problems. The most common was, Doordash delivery drivers didn't have the proper bags for pizza so it inevitably would arrive cold. It led to his employees wasting time responding to complaints and even some bad Yelp reviews.

    But he brought up another problem - the prices were off. He was frustrated that customers were seeing incorrectly low prices. A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash.

    My first thought: I wondered if Doordash is artificially lowering prices for customer acquisition purposes.

    My second thought: I knew Doordash scraped restaurant websites. After we discussed it more, it was clear that the way his menu was set up on his website, Doordash had mistakenly taken the price for a plain cheese pizza and applied it to a 'specialty' pizza with a bunch of toppings.

    My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!

    But this is the kicker:
    Tricking businesses onto your platform and creating additional headaches for small business owners in the pursuit of Softbankian growth is a bad as it gets. Many restauranteurs were complaining about their Google listings being "hijacked" by Doordash, sometimes even usurping their own preferred delivery.

    These underhanded tricks aren't unique to Doordash though. In recent weeks there has been some great work coming out around a Yelp - Grubhub phone scam. This one is just priceless (seriously, read this Buzzfeed piece). Grubhub for their own sites generates a phone number for each restaurant that goes to a centralized, Grubhub owned call center. If someone calls in and orders via this number, the restaurant gets charged a fee. Apparently, some enterprising BD folks came up with the idea that Yelp could put the Grubhub phone numbers in place of the real restaurant phone number on the Yelp listing. Customers who think they’re “helping” their local restaurants by calling in the order are still creating a fee for Grubhub.

    Which brings us to the question - what is the point of all this? These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?

    Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

    Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

    Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division” 😂😂. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

    Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

    There's a very good comment under that article:
    I was the former Head of Innovation at Grubhub, so I have seen the truth behind many of these claims first hand. Sadly, I invented a lot of the food delivery technologies that are now being used for evil. There were so many great points made here, and I’m glad people are finally paying attention to this. I will try to only add to a few.

    COVID-19 is exposing the fact that delivery platforms are not actually in the business of delivery. They are in the business of finance. In many ways, they are like payday lenders for restaurants and drivers. They give you the sensation of cash-flow, but at the expense of your long term future and financial stability. Once you “take out this loan” you will never pay it back and it will ultimately kill your business.

    In the case of restaurants, these platforms slowly siphon off your customers and then charge you to have access to them. They are simultaneously selling these same customers to your competitor across the street, but, don’t worry, they are also selling their customers to you.

    For drivers, they are banking on a workforce that is willing to mortgage their assets, like cars and time, well below market value, in exchange for money now. They know that most delivery drivers are simply not doing the math on the actual cost of providing delivery (time, gas, car maintenance, payroll taxes...etc). If they did, drivers would realize that they are actually the ones subsidizing the cost of delivery.

    Delivery platforms are “hyper-growth” businesses that are trying to grow into a no-growth industry. Food consumption really only grows at the rate of population growth, so if you want to grow faster than that, you have to take market share from someone else. Ideally, you take it from someone weaker, who has less information. In this industry, the delivery platforms have found unsuspecting victims in restaurants and drivers.

    The competition for customers has not gone away. It has simply moved online. Many restaurants have been too slow, or unwilling to adapt. Delivery platforms and other restaurants are taking advantage of this to gobble up market share. Restaurants need to realize that they are now running e-commerce businesses and they need to act accordingly. Being proficient on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the dozens of other platforms is no longer optional, it is essential.

    His gooseshit attempt to blame restaurant owners at the end is disgusting. As one owner points out:
    I want to be very clear, the problem is NOT that we are paying them for their services. The problem is that they are actively using our brand name to advertise to customers that are already looking for us. They are redirecting those customers to their platform where they can purchase from a competitor or they can charge us a fee to provide food to that same customer. Whereas the customer could have just gone to our website and ordered directly from our online ordering store and we would not be charged a commission to GrubHub or DoorDash.

    Being that we are partners of DoorDash and GrubHub, I have personally reached out to them multiple times. I’ve spent hours on the phone with each of them to get them to stop this practice. For a while, they stop, but then, they start up again. Which they both just did recently. Our only recourse is to immediately terminate our contract with GrubHub and DoorDash, which we are considering doing.

    The problem is that if we cancel, does that mean they will actually stop stealing customers that are looking for our restaurant and directing them to our competitors? We don’t know. I doubt it, but we will find out.

    DoorDash and GrubHub have a long history of screwing their partners. Grubhub has used thousands of fake websites to upcharge commission fees from real businesses. They also list phone numbers that don’t belong to the actual business. DoorDash has been accused of stealing the tips of its drivers.

    The problem is not that restaurant owners need to understand e-commerce. The problem is that GrubHub, DoorDash, etc. are unethical geese who falsely inject themselves in as middlemen with underhanded techniques that companies like Google and Yelp enable, then use that clout to, in a very real way, hold restaurants hostage.

    I don't think he's really trying to blame restaurant owners. He literally calls them "unsuspecting victims", compares the food delivery apps to payday lenders and describes exactly how they extract value via off-loading costs and stealing customers. He correctly identifies the business model: steal customers from weaker less informed people. The fact that restaurants also need to be more aware of their online presence doesn't change that. Even if there's only so much they can do. But they should at least be aware of when these companies are coming after them.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    very few places around here delivered before doordash/grubhub, like anything other than pizza and one chinese place you were basically SOL

    Same. It was pizza, Chinese, and like one local sandwich shop (that would deliver to any classroom on campus...great for late-night lab work). Outside that, your ass was picking it up. So there was definitely a gap to be filled by these companies, just as there was a gap to be filled by Uber/Lyft. In many cities, taxi service was utter shit and a last resort of the desperate.

    The issue, of course, is what they've filled the gap with.

    I don't think that's really the issue. I think, like with Uber and the like, the issue is that the gap they are trying to fill is to insert themselves between the consumer and the provider and extract money from that market but there is actually very little money to be made there and what actually happens is they pour a ton of venture capitalist cash into the industry in question and fuck everything up. The fundamental lesson from all these delivery apps seems to be that they only really work by stealing customers and profits from the restaurants because ultimately the delivery they are providing is not profitable. They function only because they can just burn money. It's highly debatable how popular food delivery that's actually taking cost into account is.

    FencingsaxMartini_PhilosopherGiggles_Funsworth
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited May 20
    shryke wrote: »
    Gim wrote: »
    And if you thought Doordash is a scam, you have no idea:
    Doordash was causing him real problems. The most common was, Doordash delivery drivers didn't have the proper bags for pizza so it inevitably would arrive cold. It led to his employees wasting time responding to complaints and even some bad Yelp reviews.

    But he brought up another problem - the prices were off. He was frustrated that customers were seeing incorrectly low prices. A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash.

    My first thought: I wondered if Doordash is artificially lowering prices for customer acquisition purposes.

    My second thought: I knew Doordash scraped restaurant websites. After we discussed it more, it was clear that the way his menu was set up on his website, Doordash had mistakenly taken the price for a plain cheese pizza and applied it to a 'specialty' pizza with a bunch of toppings.

    My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!

    But this is the kicker:
    Tricking businesses onto your platform and creating additional headaches for small business owners in the pursuit of Softbankian growth is a bad as it gets. Many restauranteurs were complaining about their Google listings being "hijacked" by Doordash, sometimes even usurping their own preferred delivery.

    These underhanded tricks aren't unique to Doordash though. In recent weeks there has been some great work coming out around a Yelp - Grubhub phone scam. This one is just priceless (seriously, read this Buzzfeed piece). Grubhub for their own sites generates a phone number for each restaurant that goes to a centralized, Grubhub owned call center. If someone calls in and orders via this number, the restaurant gets charged a fee. Apparently, some enterprising BD folks came up with the idea that Yelp could put the Grubhub phone numbers in place of the real restaurant phone number on the Yelp listing. Customers who think they’re “helping” their local restaurants by calling in the order are still creating a fee for Grubhub.

    Which brings us to the question - what is the point of all this? These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?

    Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

    Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

    Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division” 😂😂. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

    Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

    There's a very good comment under that article:
    I was the former Head of Innovation at Grubhub, so I have seen the truth behind many of these claims first hand. Sadly, I invented a lot of the food delivery technologies that are now being used for evil. There were so many great points made here, and I’m glad people are finally paying attention to this. I will try to only add to a few.

    COVID-19 is exposing the fact that delivery platforms are not actually in the business of delivery. They are in the business of finance. In many ways, they are like payday lenders for restaurants and drivers. They give you the sensation of cash-flow, but at the expense of your long term future and financial stability. Once you “take out this loan” you will never pay it back and it will ultimately kill your business.

    In the case of restaurants, these platforms slowly siphon off your customers and then charge you to have access to them. They are simultaneously selling these same customers to your competitor across the street, but, don’t worry, they are also selling their customers to you.

    For drivers, they are banking on a workforce that is willing to mortgage their assets, like cars and time, well below market value, in exchange for money now. They know that most delivery drivers are simply not doing the math on the actual cost of providing delivery (time, gas, car maintenance, payroll taxes...etc). If they did, drivers would realize that they are actually the ones subsidizing the cost of delivery.

    Delivery platforms are “hyper-growth” businesses that are trying to grow into a no-growth industry. Food consumption really only grows at the rate of population growth, so if you want to grow faster than that, you have to take market share from someone else. Ideally, you take it from someone weaker, who has less information. In this industry, the delivery platforms have found unsuspecting victims in restaurants and drivers.

    The competition for customers has not gone away. It has simply moved online. Many restaurants have been too slow, or unwilling to adapt. Delivery platforms and other restaurants are taking advantage of this to gobble up market share. Restaurants need to realize that they are now running e-commerce businesses and they need to act accordingly. Being proficient on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the dozens of other platforms is no longer optional, it is essential.

    His gooseshit attempt to blame restaurant owners at the end is disgusting. As one owner points out:
    I want to be very clear, the problem is NOT that we are paying them for their services. The problem is that they are actively using our brand name to advertise to customers that are already looking for us. They are redirecting those customers to their platform where they can purchase from a competitor or they can charge us a fee to provide food to that same customer. Whereas the customer could have just gone to our website and ordered directly from our online ordering store and we would not be charged a commission to GrubHub or DoorDash.

    Being that we are partners of DoorDash and GrubHub, I have personally reached out to them multiple times. I’ve spent hours on the phone with each of them to get them to stop this practice. For a while, they stop, but then, they start up again. Which they both just did recently. Our only recourse is to immediately terminate our contract with GrubHub and DoorDash, which we are considering doing.

    The problem is that if we cancel, does that mean they will actually stop stealing customers that are looking for our restaurant and directing them to our competitors? We don’t know. I doubt it, but we will find out.

    DoorDash and GrubHub have a long history of screwing their partners. Grubhub has used thousands of fake websites to upcharge commission fees from real businesses. They also list phone numbers that don’t belong to the actual business. DoorDash has been accused of stealing the tips of its drivers.

    The problem is not that restaurant owners need to understand e-commerce. The problem is that GrubHub, DoorDash, etc. are unethical geese who falsely inject themselves in as middlemen with underhanded techniques that companies like Google and Yelp enable, then use that clout to, in a very real way, hold restaurants hostage.

    I don't think he's really trying to blame restaurant owners. He literally calls them "unsuspecting victims", compares the food delivery apps to payday lenders and describes exactly how they extract value via off-loading costs and stealing customers. He correctly identifies the business model: steal customers from weaker less informed people. The fact that restaurants also need to be more aware of their online presence doesn't change that. Even if there's only so much they can do. But they should at least be aware of when these companies are coming after them.

    This and the original comment are examples of victim blaming.

    The problem these restaurants have is that these companies are making it difficult (if not near impossible) for customers to find the actual contact information for the restaurant, because these companies insert their contact info into online search so they come up ahead of the actual restaurants, as well as making deals so their contact info is presented instead of the restaurant's in services like Yelp.

    The gig economy companies are parasites. Their victims should not have to "be aware" of them.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Gim wrote: »
    And if you thought Doordash is a scam, you have no idea:
    Doordash was causing him real problems. The most common was, Doordash delivery drivers didn't have the proper bags for pizza so it inevitably would arrive cold. It led to his employees wasting time responding to complaints and even some bad Yelp reviews.

    But he brought up another problem - the prices were off. He was frustrated that customers were seeing incorrectly low prices. A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash.

    My first thought: I wondered if Doordash is artificially lowering prices for customer acquisition purposes.

    My second thought: I knew Doordash scraped restaurant websites. After we discussed it more, it was clear that the way his menu was set up on his website, Doordash had mistakenly taken the price for a plain cheese pizza and applied it to a 'specialty' pizza with a bunch of toppings.

    My third thought: Cue the Wall Street trader in me…..ARBITRAGE!!!!

    But this is the kicker:
    Tricking businesses onto your platform and creating additional headaches for small business owners in the pursuit of Softbankian growth is a bad as it gets. Many restauranteurs were complaining about their Google listings being "hijacked" by Doordash, sometimes even usurping their own preferred delivery.

    These underhanded tricks aren't unique to Doordash though. In recent weeks there has been some great work coming out around a Yelp - Grubhub phone scam. This one is just priceless (seriously, read this Buzzfeed piece). Grubhub for their own sites generates a phone number for each restaurant that goes to a centralized, Grubhub owned call center. If someone calls in and orders via this number, the restaurant gets charged a fee. Apparently, some enterprising BD folks came up with the idea that Yelp could put the Grubhub phone numbers in place of the real restaurant phone number on the Yelp listing. Customers who think they’re “helping” their local restaurants by calling in the order are still creating a fee for Grubhub.

    Which brings us to the question - what is the point of all this? These platforms are all losing money. Just think of all the meetings and lines of code and phone calls to make all of these nefarious things happen which just continue to bleed money. Why go through all this trouble?

    Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

    Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

    Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division” 😂😂. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

    Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

    There's a very good comment under that article:
    I was the former Head of Innovation at Grubhub, so I have seen the truth behind many of these claims first hand. Sadly, I invented a lot of the food delivery technologies that are now being used for evil. There were so many great points made here, and I’m glad people are finally paying attention to this. I will try to only add to a few.

    COVID-19 is exposing the fact that delivery platforms are not actually in the business of delivery. They are in the business of finance. In many ways, they are like payday lenders for restaurants and drivers. They give you the sensation of cash-flow, but at the expense of your long term future and financial stability. Once you “take out this loan” you will never pay it back and it will ultimately kill your business.

    In the case of restaurants, these platforms slowly siphon off your customers and then charge you to have access to them. They are simultaneously selling these same customers to your competitor across the street, but, don’t worry, they are also selling their customers to you.

    For drivers, they are banking on a workforce that is willing to mortgage their assets, like cars and time, well below market value, in exchange for money now. They know that most delivery drivers are simply not doing the math on the actual cost of providing delivery (time, gas, car maintenance, payroll taxes...etc). If they did, drivers would realize that they are actually the ones subsidizing the cost of delivery.

    Delivery platforms are “hyper-growth” businesses that are trying to grow into a no-growth industry. Food consumption really only grows at the rate of population growth, so if you want to grow faster than that, you have to take market share from someone else. Ideally, you take it from someone weaker, who has less information. In this industry, the delivery platforms have found unsuspecting victims in restaurants and drivers.

    The competition for customers has not gone away. It has simply moved online. Many restaurants have been too slow, or unwilling to adapt. Delivery platforms and other restaurants are taking advantage of this to gobble up market share. Restaurants need to realize that they are now running e-commerce businesses and they need to act accordingly. Being proficient on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the dozens of other platforms is no longer optional, it is essential.

    His gooseshit attempt to blame restaurant owners at the end is disgusting. As one owner points out:
    I want to be very clear, the problem is NOT that we are paying them for their services. The problem is that they are actively using our brand name to advertise to customers that are already looking for us. They are redirecting those customers to their platform where they can purchase from a competitor or they can charge us a fee to provide food to that same customer. Whereas the customer could have just gone to our website and ordered directly from our online ordering store and we would not be charged a commission to GrubHub or DoorDash.

    Being that we are partners of DoorDash and GrubHub, I have personally reached out to them multiple times. I’ve spent hours on the phone with each of them to get them to stop this practice. For a while, they stop, but then, they start up again. Which they both just did recently. Our only recourse is to immediately terminate our contract with GrubHub and DoorDash, which we are considering doing.

    The problem is that if we cancel, does that mean they will actually stop stealing customers that are looking for our restaurant and directing them to our competitors? We don’t know. I doubt it, but we will find out.

    DoorDash and GrubHub have a long history of screwing their partners. Grubhub has used thousands of fake websites to upcharge commission fees from real businesses. They also list phone numbers that don’t belong to the actual business. DoorDash has been accused of stealing the tips of its drivers.

    The problem is not that restaurant owners need to understand e-commerce. The problem is that GrubHub, DoorDash, etc. are unethical geese who falsely inject themselves in as middlemen with underhanded techniques that companies like Google and Yelp enable, then use that clout to, in a very real way, hold restaurants hostage.

    I don't think he's really trying to blame restaurant owners. He literally calls them "unsuspecting victims", compares the food delivery apps to payday lenders and describes exactly how they extract value via off-loading costs and stealing customers. He correctly identifies the business model: steal customers from weaker less informed people. The fact that restaurants also need to be more aware of their online presence doesn't change that. Even if there's only so much they can do. But they should at least be aware of when these companies are coming after them.

    This and the original comment are examples of victim blaming.

    The problem these restaurants have is that these companies are making it difficult (if not near impossible) for customers to find the actual contact information for the restaurant, because these companies insert their contact info into online search so they come up ahead of the actual restaurants, as well as making deals so their contact info is presented instead of the restaurant's in services like Yelp.

    The gig economy companies are parasites. Their victims should not have to "be aware" of them.

    No, it's not victim blaming. And yes, even if it's shitty, restaurants need to be aware of the kind of shitty behaviour these companies are up to because it's not like they are stopping.

    SleepCalicaLord_AsmodeusKruiteMartini_PhilosopherGiggles_FunsworthVeagleShadowfireElvenshaekimeHeffling
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
  • [Expletive deleted][Expletive deleted] The mediocre doctor NorwayRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.
    MuzzmuzzMartini_PhilosopherDoodmannGiggles_FunsworthIncenjucarShadowfireDavid WalgasElvenshaekimeMvrckCantideJebus314Man in the Mists
  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Hackerman Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    Make sure it doesn't have a SIM card for wireless data in there first though. If it does you can jailbreak it, wipe the device, and then you'll have free data on a giant corp plan they're probably not monitoring like this hero.

    OrcaSleepMartini_PhilosopherMayabirdshrykeAimShadowfireTNTrooperDavid WalgasCalicaFencingsaxElvenshaeSkeithMan in the Mists
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    Make sure it doesn't have a SIM card for wireless data in there first though. If it does you can jailbreak it, wipe the device, and then you'll have free data on a giant corp plan they're probably not monitoring like this hero.

    There's an even better way around those things I read in a different story. I turned out that whatever university it was at had only 5 of the things, so someone just bought a bunch of shitty used cars, parked them around campus so they slapped the barnacles on them and then just left the cars there so they had no barnacles for anyone else.

    Giggles_FunsworthLaOsMartini_PhilosopherDavid WalgasCalicaFencingsaxElvenshaeSmrtnikkimeMvrckMan in the MistsHeffling
  • MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    They might be able to track it, hence the destruction and disposal at a distance.

    camo_sig2.png
    PSN: AuthorFrost
    mageofstorm.png
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Madican wrote: »
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    They might be able to track it, hence the destruction and disposal at a distance.

    If they install it without permission could a case be made that they gave it as a gift?

    And if not, perhaps the business presses some computer crime charges?

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
    Giggles_FunsworthElvenshaeKlytus
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited May 20
    mcdermott wrote: »
    very few places around here delivered before doordash/grubhub, like anything other than pizza and one chinese place you were basically SOL

    Same. It was pizza, Chinese, and like one local sandwich shop (that would deliver to any classroom on campus...great for late-night lab work). Outside that, your ass was picking it up. So there was definitely a gap to be filled by these companies, just as there was a gap to be filled by Uber/Lyft. In many cities, taxi service was utter shit and a last resort of the desperate.

    The issue, of course, is what they've filled the gap with.

    I agree completely, they fucking suck, and this is where regulation would normally sand the edges off the solution that the market has filled the gap with if we had a functional government

    override367 on
    Giggles_FunsworthCalicaLord_AsmodeusMan in the Mists
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Madican wrote: »
    Meeqe wrote: »
    I didn't do fuck all, other than unplug it and notify management, who are old friends of mine. I was only there for a few months (worked there for years, years ago), this weekend is my last there because my drafting job finally approved WFH.

    I wanted to do all manner of things, but didn't want to embroil the restaurant in anything on my own. Won't be my problem shortly, other than to remember that Doordash is scum. The restaurant is having... significant issues due to the 'rona, and dealing with Doordash's system fucking up in the middle of a Friday night rush was a nightmare on top of that.

    Take it on your way out the door, snap it in half, and toss it in a dumpster a block away.

    That's terrible advice. Don't do this.

    Recycle it.

    Make sure it doesn't have a SIM card for wireless data in there first though. If it does you can jailbreak it, wipe the device, and then you'll have free data on a giant corp plan they're probably not monitoring like this hero.

    There's an even better way around those things I read in a different story. I turned out that whatever university it was at had only 5 of the things, so someone just bought a bunch of shitty used cars, parked them around campus so they slapped the barnacles on them and then just left the cars there so they had no barnacles for anyone else.

    That is one of the few stories in the linked article

    Elvenshae
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited May 22
    Because GrubHub and its ilk aren't terrible enough, they're working with national brands to disguise their names to trick consumers:
    So it was a surprise to learn that Chuck E. Cheese pizza can be consumed in the comfort of your own home, delivered via on-demand apps such as Grubhub, as was revealed last month when a Reddit user documented their experience of accidentally ordering from the children’s entertainment center. Pizza made in the kitchens of select Chuck E. Cheese locations is sold under the name “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings” on Grubhub, allowing the business to generate revenue while technically remaining closed due to the coronavirus. The brand is owned by CEC Entertainment, Inc., which also owns Chuck E. Cheese, and a trademark registration was filed for the restaurant name on April 16, 2020. (The name derives from one Pasqually P. Pieplate, an Italian chef character and drummer for Chuck E. Cheese’s resident rock band.)
    The strategy isn’t new, and large chains have created separate brands, or “virtual restaurants,” on delivery apps for years. Like Chuck E. Cheese, physical restaurants operate these online brands out of their kitchens, sometimes serving the same food to customers who are none the wiser. Many are outed by the addresses they list on delivery apps, which are the same as brick-and-mortar restaurants with different names, and customers aren’t always happy when they spot the overlap. In the United Kingdom, for example, fast-casual chains like Frankie & Benny’s sold identical menu items under “trendy” sub-brands to the ire of customers who said they would have avoided those restaurants if they knew where the food was made.

    These shifts now intersect with a mass rush to delivery apps, as restaurants have few other options for staying in business. In April, Applebee’s registered the name “Neighborhood Wings” and now sells wings on Grubhub. Likewise, this month barbecue chain Smokey Bones began selling burgers and wings on delivery apps under “The Burger Experience” and “The Wing Experience,” respectively.

    As more nationwide chains break out into virtual operations, they could create a new kind of competition for small local restaurants that have become increasingly reliant on technology platforms during the coronavirus crisis. Even customers who intend to order from small local joints using these apps, which charge delivery fees as high as 30%, could instead find themselves ordering from a sub-brand of a large chain operation.

    That’s what happened when Kendall Neff placed a Grubhub order for two large pizzas from Pasqually’s, thinking she was supporting a local Philadelphia restaurant based on its name. Neff told OneZero that only after Googling its address on 270 Swedesford Road did she realize it was technically a Chuck E. Cheese. She then cross-referenced both menus and noticed they were identical, and then confirmed with the Grubhub driver that her order was indeed dispatched from a Chuck E. Cheese.

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    You know, straight pop-up kitchens that have no dine-in service and exist only as a delivery food service I can handle. I get it. But places using GrubHub and the like to stealth rebrand? Man, fuck that. That's some vile shit. Doubly so when it's from a "restaurant" like Chuck-E-Cheese.

    kimeLord_AsmodeusTicaldfjamMan in the MistsBlackDragon480
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