LA restaurants are closing because bad people abuse food delivery services' refund policies

Originally published at: LA restaurants are closing because bad people abuse food delivery services' refund policies | Boing Boing



Slave Labor business model don’t seem to be working any longer.


I wonder how many missing food items went into food delivery person’s stomach.


Desperate times, desperate mesures.


Cant the food services institute some sort of “no-deliver list” blocking registry?

You get away with this, once, but thereafter no service will deliver to you, if your address or credit card or cell phone is on the registry.

(Of course, then power swings the other way, and customers become overly timid about complaining about unfulfilled deliveries.)

Well, I mean, they’re exactly the same, except China’s version is compulsory, run by the State, never expires as such, affects one’s citizenship/livelihood/personal liberty. And the “no-deliver list” is voluntary, run by private sector, expires when person changes cellphone/credit card, affects one’s ability to receive Chinese take-out at 2AM.


I’m not judging. Just pondering what happens when food delivery folks are independent contractors vs working for the restaurant.


Uber Eats - “Kill local restaurants.”


As a retired Chef, most illicit food consumption is on site, not many starving delivery persons will sabotage there income stream for a nibble. Possible, but not probable.


I assume that’s food coming from the owner’s budget and not off customer’s plates typically. When it comes to uber eats or whatever… I mean is it really a risk? because what options do the restaurant have to say no to a particular driver?

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The Restaurant Association is a powerful entity, at least in terms of lobbying. If individual restaurants can’t handle app development for delivery, I don’t understand why this advocacy organization doesn’t jump in with a solution that is actually restaurant-oriented. I don’t know their stance on these third-party services, but as a non-profit I would think they would advocate for their members by helping them avoid reliance on predatory bullshit. Even a not-for-profit run 3rd party delivery service with a shared pool of fairly-paid gig delivery people would be an improvement. Although, I’m quite certain the RA isn’t pro-labor…


I’m not sure I understand how the third-party services play into this. If I’m a restaurant and I hand a bag of food to a DoorDash driver and then that driver throws the food into the bushes is that somehow my responsibility and not DoorDash’s?

Edited to add: From the article, “And when the services refund money to customers, the restaurants foot the bill.” So the answer to my question is for some reason yes.


Both add to the declining revenue, so no soft exit as it were on this topic. I can be objective to a point, but the real loser here is the public, and the lowly worker. The end result is higher food/operational costs passed onto the consumer, and lower wages/ lost opportunities for the worker. So the creep of the food desert marches on…


I know it was not your intent, but I had visions of a free market version of China’s social credit system. I shuddered in mild-to-moderate horror.

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It sounds like a new wrinkle on the old “dine and dash” problem. Except in this case, the restaurant can’t take the lost money out of the waitstaff’s wages somehow. (How they were ever able to get away with this has always enraged me)


I don’t know about a registry service or if that would really be ideal. I could see it getting abused by racists or trolls. When I was a manager at a pizza place I did on the rare occasion give a refund and a suggestion not to come back. Someone complained to the district supervisor who then contacted me and told me I did the right thing. (and then everyone started clapping or something).


That is illegal in California, elsewhere maybe not, but morally reprehensible by any standards.


People are swine.


Maybe the exact opposite of what happened when our Boeing division’s in-house security personnel were replaced with rent-a-cops: Locked-door after-hours thefts stopped.

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presumably at some point they will use that sweet equity to just buy the restaurants and vertically integrate.

i mean wouldn’t it make more sense to have centralized food production and – when restaurants eventually re-open – use driverless cars and drones to ship the food to the restaurants as well as people’s homes?

it’s especially great because you can reclaim the kitchen space for more tables. and if you want to see your food being made there’s always zoom. ( is it real, or memorex? who can say. )


While I know this is coming from the perspective of the restaurants, there is also a legitimate issue of many of these establishments, which were not used to take-out-first based business, being really bad with order consistency.

Here in Austin there are several home-grown take-out services that restaurants utilize in addition to Uber Eats and Doordash and the like, and we’ve been making significant use of them given that my partner is immunocompromised and we don’t want to have to take the risk of going into these places, but do want to support them with our business. But even with these homegrown, sometimes integrated-into-their-POS-system tools, the restaurants are still messing up the orders to the point that some of our favourites are off of the “list” until we can visit in-person, which is disappointing.

I wonder how many of these supposed increases come from sloppy order fulfillment → manager gets asked what’s going on → blames customers instead of pushing staff to make complete orders.

Also: If you do want to patronize restaurants, check their websites and see what their preferred delivery partner is (or if they offer curbside pickup) - ofttimes they list specific delivery vendors on their site because they get a better deal by you using them instead of the others.