Ordering food online is like, breathing. It happens without really realizing what you’re doing. But before you place an online order on Seamless or GrubHub tonight for your favorite restaurant, you might want to make sure it actually exists.
The I-Team at Channel 4 New York checked out 100 of New York City’s top-rated restaurants on both websites. What they found was that more than 10 percent were “ghosts.” That’s right, the eateries had names and addresses that didn’t match any listing in the city’s database of restaurant inspection grades. “Some people might be illegally operating from their apartment, from their home, and delivering to people in complete contravention to department of health regulation,” said Julie Menin, the city’s Consumer Affairs Commissioner.
Yep, that’s means you could be receiving food from someone’s 5-floor walkup down the block — and you’re paying top dollar. Take for example, a place called “Really Chinese.” It’s actually a private brownstone on E 31st Street.
When the I-Team confronted the manager, he acted like should be natural to assume this is happening, and he even admitted he opened a fake kitchen to keep up with demand.
So, what do the head honchos over at Seamless and GrubHub have to say? “We take the accuracy of our restaurant listings seriously,” said GrubHub spokeswoman Abby Hunt. “We are partnering with New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs to address the issue and remove inaccuracies.”
Until then, maybe it’s best to choose pick up instead of delivery.
Head over to Channel 4 New York for more.
Do you think you order from a ghost kitchen on Seamless or GrubHub?