That restaurant you’re ordering from online? It may not actually know you’re making an order.
That’s the situation for Seattle restaurant Nikos Gyros in the city’s Magnolia neighborhood. The Magnolia Voice news site reports that the small Greek restaurant was surprised to find out it was listed as a food delivery option for the sites Order Ahead and Postmates.
Owner Alex Serpanos tells Magnolia Voice’s Steve Smalley they were alerted to the potential issue when a customer asked why the prices on the web were higher than the prices inside the restaurant. The problem? Nikos Gyros has no delivery. Or website.
Anthony Anton, CEO for the Washington Restaurant Association, called the situation “identity theft.” “A restaurant’s reputation is critical to their success,” Anton told Smalley. “They have the right to choose when they partner with a company, particularly when they’re using your brand to their advantage.”
Serpanos called it a “hijack” of the restaurant’s reputation.
The neighborhood news site says Anton was able to get Order Ahead to remove Nikos Gyros from that company’s website. However, a GeekWire check of Postmates.com still shows Nikos Gyros as a food delivery option. Serpanos tells us the listing is unauthorized, but she has not yet contacted Postmates and plans to do so shortly.
Magnolia Voice says it’s been unable to get comments from Order Ahead or Postmates (read the Magnolia Voice story here). We also reached out to Postmates for a comment.
[UPDATE 1:33 P.M.] In its statement to GeekWire, Postmates said it, “has no interest in creating any type of confusion, and we believe that our customers understand that Postmates is an independent delivery service unaffiliated with any specific vendor. Our riders and drivers pick up and deliver food and other goods from local merchants who may not offer delivery themselves. We believe that consumers in any market have the right to utilize a service like Postmates for the delivery of any products which they can legally purchase themselves. Postmates charges customers for the exact cost of their items, as specified by the store or restaurant, plus a delivery fee based which varies based on distance and demand on the platform.”