TUPELO • Clay Coleman, the owner of Clay’s House of Pig, or C.H.O.P., is all about keeping business local.
His popular restaurant has a growing legion of fans, and to help accommodate them, he partnered with Tupelo2Go, a locally owned delivery service, to satiate their appetites.
So he was surprised – and a little peeved – to learn that a new delivery service set to start service today has his restaurant listed as a “partner.”
In fact, DoorDash has nearly 50 restaurants listed, but Coleman said he’s not heard from them.
“Not at all. They haven’t contacted me,” he said. “In fact, I’m not happy at all that they put me on their website without me even knowing about it.”
Via mailings to area residents and even online, DoorDash, an on-demand food delivery service that started in San Francisco in 2013 and has spread nationwide, said it is starting service today.
“We launch in Tupelo on April 10th, 2019. Create an account now to receive a special gift in your inbox when we launch!” a banner on top of the page reads.
Several other restaurants contacted by the Daily Journal said they’ve had no dealings with DoorDash either.
Bishop’s BBQ, Lost Pizza and Neon Pig, for example, said they were unaware they were listed as partners.
“We haven’t partnered with anybody,” said Jeffrey Worthey, area manager for Bishop’s, which, like C.H.O.P., works only with Tupelo2Go.
If DoorDash is starting delivery service in Tupelo, it will be the second new service in as many months; Baton Rouge-based Waitr began its service in early March.
But if the company has listed restaurants that knew nothing about their supposed partnerships, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Last November in Huntsville, Alabama, several restaurants said they were listed with DoorDash without their knowledge.
According to WAFF48 television, DoorDash did not contact restaurants to either sign a contract or even let them know they were on the website.
Fire and Spice Tex-Mex Smokehouse co-owner LeAndra Poux said, “When we found out we were on DoorDash we were shocked. We did not give up the rights of our menu, our menu was incorrect, the prices were incorrect, but the logo was on there and it looks like it was us.”
Back in Tupelo, Coleman said, “I never gave them permission to list my business, to print my menu or to use my name in a proprietary way. As far as I’m concerned, they are poaching off of my good reputation and hard work.”
Responding to local restaurants concerns via email, a DoorDash spokesperson said, “DoorDash launched almost six years ago with one goal – to help local businesses thrive by being their last-mile logistics partner. For restaurants that want to provide additional operational efficiency and receive data analytics for their orders, DoorDash provides the opportunity to partner in a more formal relationship.
“Regardless of the relationship, restaurants have told us that they’ve seen increased sales, new customers and improved operations thanks to our ordering apps and delivery services. For the majority of our merchants, being on DoorDash offers not only an additional influx of customers and revenue but also presents an additional marketing opportunity. For those not interested in being on DoorDash for any reason, we immediately remove them from the platform upon their request.”