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Chicago Seeks Restaurants Stories Detailing Experiences With DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats

The survey’s launch comes days after the city filed lawsuits against DoorDash and Grubhub

A zoomed-in screen of third-party app fee icons on a phone.
The city of Chicago wants anecdotes from restaurants about their third party experiences.
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Last week, the city of Chicago made headlines by filing twin lawsuits against Grubhub and DoorDash in accusing the food delivery companies of deceptive business practices. Now, the city is looking for anecdotes about restaurants and third-party couriers. The city has launched an online survey that asks hospitality workers ”about your experiences with meal delivery companies, including but not limited to: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and their affiliates.”

Last week, the city filed lawsuits against Grubhub and DoorDash claiming the third-party couriers employed a variety of deceptive practice to bilk restaurants out of money. The allegations include inaccurate menus, being deceptive about fees, and in DoorDash’s case, not properly paying driver tips. Both companies denied all allegations.

While the city has singled out Grubhub and DoorDash, attorneys continue to explore lawsuits against other companies, including Uber Eats and the others listed in the survey. The survey asks respondents for complaints and suggestions on how the companies could improve service. Uber Eats did not respond to a request for comment.

The brief survey also asks restaurants if they’re willing to share email correspondences with the companies, contracts, and billing statements. Third parties have notoriously been guarded about how much they charge restaurants. There are different tiers of service and fees, including marketing fees rank certain paying restaurants higher in search results versus non-paying competitors. That’s one of the reasons Chicago implemented a 15 percent cap on what couriers could charge restaurants during the pandemic. Restaurants have reported that third parties bill them 20 to 40 percent of what customers pay for their food orders.

A spokesperson for Chicago’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Department, the entity that regulates restaurants in the city, didn’t immediately respond to an email.