Chicago sues GrubHub and DooDash

Chicago’s city government is suing two ultra-fast delivery companies, DoorDash and GrubHub for breaking consumer law throughout the pandemic.

GrubHub and Doordash are accused of amongst other things; pretending they were working business with businesses that had no such relationship with them, hiding the true prices of menu food until the final checkout stage, using routing numbers for customers to call the restaurants and taking commissions from the calls, and misleading customers into believing they were tipping drivers when in fact those tips were used to pay the drivers their standard fee per drop.

Acting Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) said, “As we stared down a global pandemic that shuttered businesses and drove people indoors, the defendants’ meal delivery service apps became a primary way for people to feed themselves and their families, as well as support local restaurants. It is deeply concerning and unfortunate that these companies broke the law during these incredibly difficult times, using unfair and deceptive tactics to take advantage of restaurants and consumers who were struggling to stay afloat.” 

The city government pointed out that during the lockdowns of 2020, business boomed for hot food delivery businesses even as high street stores and restaurants had to suspend business with walk-in customers. The predatory practices only helped their businesses grow, even while without such practices they would have done very well.

“We discovered that Grubhub and DoorDash have been engaging in deceptive and misleading business practices that harm consumers and exploit restaurants. These practices continued unabated during the pandemic when restaurants were struggling to survive,” said Acting BACP Commissioner Kenneth Meyer.  “We heard from the hospitality industry and Chicago’s consumers about these unfair practices and this action demonstrates we will hold non-complying businesses accountable.”