Tech trouble at scale

Last spring, DoorDash issued a warning of sorts when it told restaurants to stop raising menu prices on its app. Many restaurants raised prices to offset hefty app commissions, and diners were catching on. As a result, DoorDash warned restaurants they’d be downgraded within the app, potentially dealing a blow to business. 

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that DoorDash updated its messaging a bit. While the delivery company still appears to notify restaurants when it discovers large price discrepancies, it’s clarified that a restaurant isn’t downgraded only because of price. Price is just one metric the company considers, it said. DoorDash also told the WSJ that it doesn’t have specific pricing requirements on delivery. 

The Journal spoke to a couple of restaurant operators who had run-ins with DoorDash on piercing. A Pennsylvania business owner’s restaurant listings were deactivated after the delivery company flagged prices 40 percent higher on the app. Another restaurateur quoted in the piece was told by DoorDash to cap delivery prices at a 20 percent markup of in-store prices to avoid any negative effects. 

“I love it when multinational corporations tell me how to operate my business,” one independent operator told me jokingly over email Tuesday. 

Is it me, or is the technology-restaurant relationship getting more fraught?


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *