If you like to try new restaurants through food delivery services, you might want to make sure the restaurant is actually real before you order.
A recent report from NBC New York found that slightly more than 10% of the top 100 New York City restaurants on food delivery services Seamless and GrubHub are actually "ghosts," meaning their names and addresses didn't match up with listings in the city's restaurant inspection database. That could mean two things: either they're operating out of their potentially unclean home kitchen illegally, or they're using a fake name and address on GrubHub because they have low ratings or poor health grade associated with their actual restaurant name.
According to restaurant consultant Michelle Jones, neither Seamless or GrubHub have a legal responsibility to very the names and addresses of restaurants, and that can cause problems for you if you're not interested in ordering sketchy food from a C grade kitchen. Furthermore, while this report is focused on the New York City area, this could potentially happen anywhere, especially other major metropolitan areas. GrubHub has issued a statement saying they will begin to take additional steps to verify restaurants, but for now, take the extra minute to verify new restaurants before ordering anything. Use Google Maps and street view to see if there is actually a restaurant at the listed address, check for restaurant reviews in other services, or consult your city's health department to see if there are any grades or listings. You can watch the complete report at the link below.
A GrubHub representative has reached out to us and issued the complete statement below:
At GrubHub, we take the accuracy of our restaurant listings seriously. We are partnering with New York's Department of Consumer Affairs to address this issue and remove inaccuracies from our platforms.
Going forward, GrubHub will take additional steps to verify the details restaurants provide. Our new process includes more checks to validate the name and location of restaurants. Should any discrepancies arise, we will take immediate action to correct information or remove inaccurate listings of restaurants on our platforms. We're also encouraging tips. If you spot any inaccuracy on our platforms, you can alert us at [email protected] or [email protected]