Woman slams DoorDash after learning where the $30 salad she’s been purchasing is actually made

@_thehotmessexpress__/Tiktok Diego/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘I started looking up addresses’: Woman slams DoorDash after learning where the $30 salad she’s been purchasing is actually made

‘Some of them have actually fooled me.’


Jack Alban


A woman bought $30 gas station salads for months because she was duped by a ghost kitchen, she claims.

Kay (@_thehotmessexpress_) uploaded a viral TikTok video where she shares her reaction to this discovery, racking up over 400,000 views in the process. It turns out that folks in the comments section of her video said that they, too, have learned after the fact the meals that they ordered online were actually prepared in a ghost kitchen.

“DoorDash is honestly doing us so dirty with those stupid ghost kitchen restaurants bc why did I just learn that the $30 salad I’ve been buying for months is actually being made at a gas station,” Kay writes in an overlay of her video.

Kay looks into the camera, her hand on her hair as she widens her eyes, and the sound of a tragic, blood-curdling scream echoes in the background of her clip.

Other commenters agreed with her assessment, like this one user on the application who thought that the ghost kitchen phenomenon should be outlawed entirely. “Ghost kitchens should be illegal. I always search their address. Just a way for sh*t corpo chains to impersonate small local joints,” they penned.

How to catch ghost kitchens on DoorDash and Uber Eats

Someone else said that they never have a problem figuring out whether or not a restaurant listed on DoorDash is a ghost kitchen because it’s made readily apparent just from its nomenclature. “They’re so easy to spot too. Like ‘whacky whimsical wingzzz’ is so sus,” they wrote.

Kay says that she has been fooled quite easily, however, as if her TikTok post wasn’t enough of an admission of that. “Ok some of them actually have fooled me, the food is so staged and made to look so good,” she responded to the commenter.

Other users shared the extent of their local ghost kitchens on food delivery apps.

“My local diner provides us with 16 ghost kitchens and it’s actually out of control,” one said.

Another wrote, “The old pizza place I worked at was a ghost kitchen for 5 restaurants. And we Always got a lotttt of orders.”

“At my restaurant job, we have separate bags with a dif logo for the people who order from our ghost kitchen ITS WILD,” a third added.

Some shared how they’ve learned to sniff out the ghost kitchens when ordering. “I started looking up addresses, this ‘fancy’ calzone place is God damn papa John’s,” one person wrote.

Someone else pointed out how Chuck E. Cheese decided to re-brand its food offerings as being from Pasqually’s during the pandemic, which is something tons of customers noticed while using apps like DoorDash. “I’m still dying at pasqualle’s pizza and wings being chuck e cheese,” one commenter said.

Several shared the unfortunate realizations they’ve had akin to Kay’s experience.

“The chicken place I love so much (It’s Just Wings) is Chilis,” one said.

Another added, “No cuz there’s the damn “Meltdown” that has these sandwiches I thought looked fire……. ITS A DAMN DENNY’S.”

If you’re looking at a new restaurant on a delivery app that you haven’t heard of before, then there’s a good chance it’s probably just a Denny’s, which is something that this TikToker said they learned through experience.

Some have even called into question the legality of ghost kitchens. One Redditor called out the practice for its “dishonesty.” Let’s say IHOP, which has been campaigning heavily in recent years to get folks into its restaurant to eat burgers and other non-breakfast offerings, decided to sell burgers on Seamless under a different name. Customers might feel some type of way discovering that they just purchased a meal from IHOP given the brand identity associated with the chain. Perhaps it isn’t necessarily rooted in a negative perception, but maybe to that consumer, part of the experience of eating that burger is being entertained into thinking that it’s from somewhere that is all burgers, all the time.

According to Find Law, there’s nothing illegal about the practice of Ghost Kitchens, but an article penned by the legal resource on the topic says that the issue isn’t so black and white: “So, are ghost kitchens legal? The answer is clearly yes, but there are other legal questions surrounding them.”

The biggest problem with ghost kitchens isn’t the fact that Denny’s is selling you a cheesy panini they say is from The Meltdown – it’s that all restaurants, even Ghost Kitchens, “must meet food safety standards.”


Ain’t no WAYYYY bro

♬ som original – isa ✩

Here, is where the potential problems arise according to Find Law: “This is where it gets a bit tricky for consumers: ‘Because of the virtual nature of ghost kitchens, consumers cannot access health inspection letter grades as readily as they could at traditional restaurants, which may be required to display proof of inspection in their storefronts or dining areas’ according to The Regulatory Review.”

There’s one question to ponder after reading all of these ghost kitchen revelations and it’s whether or not the customers in question enjoyed the meals that they received. If they did, like Kay clearly did while forking over $30 for salads regularly, does it really matter where it came from?

The Daily Dot has reached out to Kay via email for further information.

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