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LOVELAND, Colo. -- A lot of us are using delivery apps such as Doordash, Grubhub and Postmates instead of going out during the pandemic, assuming restaurants we order from are on board.
But Contact Denver7's Jaclyn Allen found that a Loveland bakery had no idea their business was listed on Grubhub until delivery drivers started showing up.
Grubhub says this a new model "that other other food delivery companies have been doing for years," but some Colorado businesses say it goes too far.
"We're a family-owned-and-operated company," said Amber Cronin, co-owner of The Cupcake Gypsies in Loveland. "My sister is the baker. I run the business side of stuff."
When the pandemic started, she decided to add online ordering systems to target the market that was no longer leaving their house.
"We do DoorDash and NoCo Nosh," she said. "And it has helped grow our business."
But last weekend, she was surprised by two delivery drivings showing up with orders that she knew nothing about, for cupcakes not on the menu.
She soon learned that Grubhub had created a listing for her bakery without her knowledge or her permission.
"No call. No email. I've never contacted them," said Cronin. "The menu wasn't current because our menu changes every other day. The hours were wrong on the listing. I immediately called their customer service and got someone at an answering call center, she couldn’t help me."
"I decided to reach out to you guys because I watch 7News," she said. "And I always think that you guys are trying to help the little guy."
In a statement to Contact Denver7, Grubhub defended the practice saying businesses can be removed from the marketplace or change information by emailing email@example.com, leaving it to businesses to pro-actively search for their listing.
The statement continues: "Starting in late 2019 in select cities across the country, we’ll add restaurants to our marketplace when we see local diner demand for delivery so the restaurant can receive more orders and revenue from deliveries completed by our drivers. This is a model that other food delivery companies have been doing for years as a way to widen their restaurant supply, and we’re trying it as well to close the restaurant supply gap created by our competitors. We strongly believe partnering with restaurants is the only way to drive long-term value in this business."
But Cronin points out that these third-party delivery services take a big cut from the orders, which for small businesses like hers, can have a serious impact on their finances.
"They're not doing it out of the kindness of their heart. They're doing it for money," said Cronin, who said she had considered using Grubhub, but has now decided not to. "I do appreciate third-party delivery systems, I don't appreciate an aggressive tactic to get my business."
After Contact Denver7 reached out, the listing for The Cupcake Gypsy was removed from Grubhub.
"They only responded to you," said Cronin. "I'm happy to hear that they have taken my listing down — that's exactly what I wanted. And want this not to continue to happen to other small businesses because it really does hurt our bottom line."