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GrubHub Ran A ‘$15 Off Lunch’ Promo Without Telling Restaurants And Chaos Ensued

Are you shocked? Are you really shocked by this news? You shouldn’t be.

Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve been subject to learning about just how god-awful all of our convenience apps (think Uber, Lyft, Postmates…) are. From their lax security within the apps themselves to the dangers drivers and passengers face to just how awful these companies treat their employees (NOT independent contractors, which is how they illegally classify their drivers), it should surprise absolutely no one to hear one more horror story in a sea of horror stories.

But here we are! A whole new one! @WellsLucasSanto shared on Twitter today that “GrubHub offered $15 off orders from 11am to 2pm in NYC, which got thousands of customers to order free meals within that time window.” But the problem with this? “They didn’t tell restaurants & delivery workers they were doing this.”

@WellsLucasSanto

Wells goes on to add, “Giving folks $15 off is great! But it’s a serious problem when you time-limit it, because that means you’re forcing users to all order at the same time. Take a moment to consider why this might not be a good thing… especially if understaffed restaurants aren’t made aware.”

@WellsLucasSanto

Wells then included a picture from a restaurant that showed off just how chaotic the promotion was for businesses.

@WellsLucasSanto

And do you think that free food is coming from GrubHub? No, says Wells.

@WellsLucasSanto

“On top of that, all these orders need to be delivered. There’s just no way for this quantity of orders to all be delivered, so what happens? Restaurants make a ton of food that don’t get picked up, resulting in tons of food and labor waste,” Wells notes, citing a tweet that has since been made private.

@WellsLucasSanto

The tweet thread goes on to discuss how we’re starting to see articles about the tech failures but not the actual, human cost of these offers.

@WellsLucasSanto

If you’ve never worked in a restaurant, this piece of the thread really illustrates how difficult this promotion made the day for workers.

@WellsLucasSanto

More importantly…

@WellsLucasSanto

Wells points out that this doesn’t hurt just online orders either.

@WellsLucasSanto

And at the end of it all, it’s demoralizing.

@WellsLucasSanto

So, no, this wasn’t a tech failure. This was a horrible promotion.

@WellsLucasSanto

A restaurant owner in the comments noted, however:

And a delivery worker said:

@MrJoneV

Whatever happened… it was a flat up disaster.