Restaurants Are Suing Grubhub

Issue 43

11.02.20 - Restaurants are suing Grubhub for listing them without permission. Two restaurant owners have filed a $5 million lawsuit against the delivery service Grubhub. The owners previously turned down a partnership with Grubhub and say that the company’s actions have caused order confusion and reputational damage to their businesses. The lawsuit claims that similar false listings have victimized at least 150,000 other restaurants.

North Carolina’s Antonia’s and the Bay Area’s The Farmer’s Wife are spearheading the class action complaint. The lawsuit says Grubhub’s actions have hurt both restaurants’ reputation and trust with customers.

“It’s led to very bad exchanges with customers who are, in the end, blaming me because I’m listed on Grubhub,” said The Farmer’s Wife cook Kendra Kooling in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Grubhub (and Yelp, and several other delivery services) have signed up restaurants for their websites without their knowledge or participation. A spokesperson said in an interview with Eater, “the non-partnered model is no doubt a bad experience for diners, drivers and restaurants,” claiming they would, “without hesitation remove any restaurant who reaches out to us and doesn’t want to be listed on our marketplace.” But this forces responsibility on the restaurant to check to see if they've been added to the site in the first place. Grubhub declined to comment for this story.

The Chicago-based company is also creating fake landing pages, the complaint further specifies.

The fake web pages, with a restaurant's logo, will appear when a customer searches for delivery options. The landing page will say the unpartnered restaurant is closed for delivery (when many times they are open), and then suggest a consumer is redirected to a Grubhub partner restaurant, according to the complaint. An attorney representing the restaurants told Motherboard this violates the Lanham Act, which states no one may use a trademarked logo to cause consumer confusion.

Source: Vice News