Bad experiences with food delivery services may not be the restaurant’s fault

Ever have a really poor experience using GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats, PostMates, etc? Remember it may not be the restaurant’s fault.

Many times when I see a sign advertising these services, I’ve asked restaurant owners and employees what their experiences with it. Some have been good and others have been less than positive.

In over a dozen restaurants randomly surveyed, a few responses stuck out as a common theme in the troubles they’ve had. It made me feel bad because those reasons are sometimes out of the restaurant’s control. Let’s take a look:


Restaurants are notified when the food is supposed to be picked up. I’m sure in many of those cases, the food is ready on time. These restaurants then sign off when it’s picked up. Once that happens, it’s all up to the driver. I’ve heard so many horror stories with delivery times, it made me cringe. In one instance, the food was picked up on time but delivered THREE HOURS later. The delivery service still charged the restaurant, customer complained, restaurant refunded the customer. Who took zero percent of the blame and still made their 30% cut? The delivery service. Meanwhile, the restaurant took the brunt of the customers anger and lost money.


For some delivery services there is almost zero accountability with their drivers. Who knows what vehicles the drivers are using once they get approved. I’ve ordered food before from some of these services and they have the proper delivery containers to keep the food warm. Sometimes that is not the case. One restaurant I spoke with had a delivery driver come on his motorcycle. The driver had nothing to store the food in properly to maintain it’s temperature. The food was then placed sideways on the motorcycle and arrived smashed down on one side. The restaurant staff saw the driver leaving on a motorcycle, customer complained moments later and the restaurant refunded the customer while still paying the delivery service the contracted fee.

And let’s be honest, food is always best at the actual restaurant. When you’re ordering delivery, it’s not going to be the exact same quality.


Some delivery services have been known to advertise representing a restaurant without even notifying the restaurants. These delivery services will go online, find a menu, post it on their site and deliver food without the restaurant’s knowledge. The restaurants believe it’s just a regular customer carryout order. In some of those cases, the menu was outdated or the prices on the delivery service app was increased to cover the service fees. This has happened multiple times with some restaurants I’ve spoken to. Google DoorDash and multiple news stories have written about their practices.

Before I ever use a GrubHub, UberEats, DoorDash, etc, I make sure they are officially recognized by the restaurant. The best way is to usually check the website or social media of the business. They do a good job of promoting themselves as having delivery available.

This is not a blog to bash all the delivery services. I’ve used them my fair share of times and have had positive experiences. But if you have ever had a bad one, be sure to take into account it may not be the restaurant’s fault. With the lack of customer service offered by the delivery service, your only route may be to complain to the restaurant. In all of the restaurants I’ve spoken with, they take full responsibility even if it was the driver’s fault.

For many of these locally owned restaurants it can be a lose/lose situation. They rely on these services to increase sales as its an added revenue stream to gain more customers. But between the high fees and the bad reviews they get due to horrible drivers, it can sometimes be a struggle for them.

Just something to think about on your next bad experience.

Happy Dining,

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