October 11, 2017 4:53 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 7:51 pm

Edmonton restaurant criticizes DoorDash delivery service for unauthorized partnership

WATCH ABOVE: DoorDash says it connects people in 49 North American cities with their favourite foods. But some Edmonton restaurants aren't happy with how the delivery service enters the market. Tom Vernon reports.

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Edmonton-based fast casual restaurant LovePizza offers food delivery to customers through Skip The Dishes. Therefore, owner Gavin Fedorak was surprised to see his pizzeria listed on DoorDash, another food delivery company.

Fedorak said he was alerted to the listing by another Edmonton restaurant, Northern Chicken, which also hadn’t signed up to be on DoorDash’s roster.

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“We checked that night and we were on there as well, with the wrong menu and some products we weren’t serving anymore, some pricing errors,” Fedorak said.

“We had never talked to DoorDash at all about being a part of their website.”

Fedorak immediately sent an email to the company.

“I just said, ‘Hey, we haven’t authorized you guys to use our trademarks, to use our name, to represent our business. We need you to take us off your site.”

He said DoorDash replied, apologized and removed LovePizza from the website.

“That’s the end of that, we hope.”

WATCH: Skip the Dishes expanding operations 

DoorDash told Global News it launched about four years ago and has formed formal partnerhips with a number of large national brands including Cheesecake Factory, Jack in the Box and Dunkin’ Donuts.

While the spokesperson said the company prefers to have formal relationships with restaurants, it will go ahead with the delivery service for businesses that haven’t signed up. Restaurants that have agreed to a formal partnership have a system in place using tablets to make the ordering process smoother.

DoorDash also directed Global News to a blog post explaining how the service works.

“One of our key principles is to provide customers with the very best selection of restaurants. We fulfil this promise by identifying the most popular restaurants that offer takeout in each city and connecting customers with Dashers who pick up orders from those restaurants and bring them to customers’ doors. As a logistics company, DoorDash matches supply and demand across three different audiences: if a restaurant offers orders to go and customers want it delivered, we’ll connect them with a Dasher to provide that service,” the blog reads.

“For restaurants that want to provide additional operational efficiency and receive data analytics for their orders, we provide the opportunity to partner with us in a more formal relationship,” the blog added.

READ MORE: 2 more food apps aim to meet growing appetite in Edmonton 

As a business owner, Fedorak said his biggest concern he had was the lack of control over the quality of service.

“If the restaurant hasn’t partnered with that service, the restaurant is not set up to accept orders. They don’t know what’s happening… That’s a big concern for the customer.

“From a restaurant point of view, it’s definitely quality assurance. You choose the partners you work with. It’s our business. It’s our livelihood and that’s the same with all these restaurants in Edmonton being signed up,” Fedorak said.

“If you’re partnered with somebody, you want to know they’re providing a good service.

“With most of the third-party deliveries, there’s feedback loops for customers, the restaurants can check on them, there’s good customer service phone numbers for both sides. You want to make sure that stuff is in place before you work with somebody that’s representing your business to the end consumer.”

READ MORE: UberEATS aims to take big bite out of Edmonton food delivery competition 

Fedorak says customers can link directly from LovePizza’s website to Skip the Dishes. It is very clear the restaurant works with the food delivery service. He suggests customers look for those visible signs or even call the business to confirm it is working with a delivery service prior to placing an order.

“It’s a two-way street,” Fedorak said. “We have to have an app or something that we’re looking at to accept orders… I think the way [DoorDash was] trying to do it — by phoning in orders — is a short-term solution. It’s not going to be scale-able on the long-term.

“It’s going to be pretty tough for them I think now in Edmonton,” he added. “There’s too many other options… We’re not going to sign up with them.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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