Oct 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

Grubhub sued for listing restaurants without permission

Ina Fried
Illustration of a take out box with wheels on it.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Two restaurant owners have filed a potential class action lawsuit against Grubhub, saying that the online food delivery service added their establishments without permission.

Why it matters: While intermediary services have touted their role in supporting independent restaurants and businesses during the pandemic, many have gone to great lengths to grab business that otherwise might have gone direct to the establishment.

Driving the news: The lawsuit argues that such listings create confusion and could harm restaurants' reputations. A Grubhub representative said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation, but the company was slow to move into delivering from what the industry dubs "non-partner" restaurants. Grubhub has also supported a California law that would stop the practice.

The big picture: Critics charge that intermediary services use hardball tactics including adding restaurants without permission and setting up phone numbers and web sites that go to the intermediaries rather than the merchants themselves.

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