Woman talking(l+r), Activemenus app on phone(c)

ActiveMenus – Online Ordering For Restaurants/Facebook @moderncone/Tiktok

‘These aren’t even the prices I charge’: Owner says her ice cream shop was put on ActiveMenus without consent. She can’t take it down (updated

‘I actually never realized this could happen?’

 

Beau Paul

Trending

If you’re looking to support your locally-owned restaurants, you might want to give them a call before you check Google to order delivery from them.

As it turns out, some businesses aren’t all that happy to be automatically added to your favorite delivery apps—especially when they haven’t given their permission.

The questionable practice has been called out on social media by Chelsea Mazzetti, owner of St. Clair Shores, Michigan-based ice cream shop Modern Cone. In a video posted to the store’s popular TikTok account (@moderncone) on Saturday, Mazzetti accuses DoorDash of adding delivery order pages for her store to Google without her authorization.

So far, her video has picked up over 211,000 views and counting.

In the video, Mazzetti claims, “Tonight, [DoorDash] decided to add ActiveMenus on Google. It’s through DoorDash. I never consented to this. I’ve had two DoorDash drivers come to my store now to pick up orders,”

“Mind you,” she continues, “I was never contacted by any of these services.”

Mazzetti also claims that whoever added the menus to Google also misrepresented her prices, offering several screenshots of the menu as proof.

“The person, whoever added this, added the menu, and then they just made all of their own prices. These aren’t even the prices I charge,” she states in the video.

“And also, where would I receive this money,” she asks, referring to the alleged raised prices. “So if you’re placing these orders online, ActiveMenus or DoorDash is just taking the money, and they’re coming to pick up orders,” she further accuses.

According to its website, Modern Cone offers pick-up service through the Toast POS System. It does not offer delivery.

Mazzetti claims that she has attempted contact but states, “There is no number. I had to send requests saying that they have to get back to me in five days.”

“What the hell is this?” she complains. She further claims that the menus are “completely illegal.”

Under Michigan House Bill 5770, it is illegal “for third-party delivery service to use any likeness or intellectual property of a restaurant without written consent.”

“It’s a scam,” Mazzetti adds. “I’ve already had to deal with this numerous times. … You can’t turn it off. You have to request to turn it off even though I never consented to this in the first place.”

How did this happen?

In an email to the Daily Dot, Anthony Robert of ActiveMenus shed light on how Modern Cone ended up on the platform.

“Firstly, we apologize to Modern Cone for the inconvenience caused by their listing on Google without consent,” Robert wrote. “This was due to Local Dudes Delivery using our Google integration, leading to unintended listings. We have deactivated the listing and are taking steps to prevent future occurrences.”

Robert also said the issue had “nothing to do with DoorDash, except that a DoorDash driver was used for delivery. The order did not originate through DoorDash, nor did DoorDash list the restaurant.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to DoorDash via email and Local Dudes Delivery via Instagram direct message for statements.

@moderncone @DoorDash @Google ♬ original sound – moderncone

While Robert stated that Modern Cone being on ActiveMenus was not an error on DoorDash’s part, the company has come under fire in the past for automatically signing up restaurants for its delivery service.

DoorDash was incorporated in 2013 and became the fastest-growing food delivery service in 2020 during the global COVID pandemic. In June of 2021, Curbed reported on the company’s automatic restaurant sign-ups and efforts to curb it via legislation.

Bronx City Council member and chair of the Committee on Small Business Mark Gjonaj told Curbed, “Often in cases where a restaurant doesn’t want to be included on a third-party marketplace, it’s because they lose quality control on the food, and they give up having a direct relationship with their own customers — both put restaurants in a no-win situation.” 

Gjonaj further stated, “Now more than ever, locally owned restaurants should be able to control their business and how it operates. If they want to sign up for a delivery service, then great. If they don’t, they shouldn’t have to grovel to tech companies and hope to be taken off of a platform that may be harmful to their business.”

In his statement to the Daily Dot, Robert maintained that ActiveMenus is committed to serving local businesses. “ActiveMenus aims to empower local operators to capture more direct orders, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. We remain committed to supporting local businesses with innovative solutions,” Robert said.

Viewers were taken aback

In the video’s comments section, Fruity Looney (@fruity_looney) wrote, “I actually never realized this could happen? I’ve used Doordash and while I knew it was overpriced I didn’t realize this can happen.”

“How is this even supposed to work. Like doordash just sends some driver into your store to say I’m here for the ice cream and you’re just supposed to give it to them?” another viewer asked.

Another alleged, “I had the same problem when I managed an ice cream stand. They listed a bunch of flavors we did not carry and prices were completely wrong.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Mazzetti via TikTok comment for further statement.

Update 6:18pm CT, June 12: The Daily Dot received the following Instagram direct message from Local Dudes Delivery:

“We are a small local delivery service trying to compete with the large delivery services. There’s not much of a story here.  We are actively trying to grow our business, typically restaurant owners aren’t interested in speaking with us unless we can show them results. So we build out restaurants, market for them (At no cost) to drive orders to their business and demonstrate our value with the hopes that we can sign them up as a partner. If a restaurant isn’t interested, or requests removal, we pull them down immediately. Our intent isn’t to upset anyone.”

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

 
The Daily Dot