***UPDATE*** (Friday, April 13)
Doordash responded this afternoon to a restaurant owner’s complaints three days after this news outlet reached out for comment from the San Francisco-based meal-delivery service.
In an email statement, a spokeswoman for Doordash wrote:
“We take feedback to heart and it was important that we worked with the team to assess.
“DoorDash launched 4.5 years ago with one goal: to help local businesses thrive by being their last-mile logistics partner. DoorDash offers merchants on our platform not only an additional influx of customers and revenue but also an additional marketing opportunity. We have a policy to honor merchants' wishes if they choose not to be on the DoorDash platform.”
“In this case, we honored Beavercreek Pizza Dive's request to be removed from the platform. As a part of that action, the restaurant’s URL was deleted from our platform. It generally takes several days for Google's search engine to reflect our action of removing a merchant from our platform.”
“We’ve also been in touch with the restaurant to make this right and refund the order that was not picked up. We value merchant feedback and are constantly working to learn from these experiences to provide even better value to local restaurants.”
Teresa Howard Geraci, co-owner of Beavercreek Pizza Dive restaurant at 4021 Dayton-Xenia Road, confirmed she had been contacted by a Doordash representative who promised to mail a check to the restaurant to refund the cost of an order that was placed by a Doordash call center but never picked up or paid for.
But she said she still believes Doordash’s business tactics regarding restaurants that it has no contract or agreement with are unfair, especially for restaurants that offer their own delivery.
A local restaurant owner’s complaint earlier this week about Doordash — the California-based meal-delivery service that expanded to the Dayton area last fall — generated a robust response on social media from customers, fellow restaurant owners and even a Doordash driver.
In an April 7 blog entry headlined, “Why We Don’t Accept Orders from Doordash,” Teresa Howard Geraci, co-owner of Beavercreek Pizza Dive restaurant at 4021 Dayton-Xenia Road, urged her customers to avoid the meal-delivery service, which has no contract or agreement with the pizza shop.
“You don’t need Doordash. We have online ordering and we deliver,” Geraci wrote.
>> EARLIER COVERAGE: Local restaurant owner slams meal delivery service
At least five other local restaurant owners or managers left comments on one of this news outlet’s Facebook posts or related posts saying they too have had problems with the service. Mackenzie Manley, founder of Mack’s Tavern in Centerville, said she has received complaints from customers who used the service.
“We want our food at its best quality being delivered, and it's not being done,” Manley said.
>> RELATED: Here’s how Doordash works
A woman who wrote that she has delivered 1,300 meals as a “Dasher,” or Doordash driver, in the Dayton area since its September 2017 launch defended the company in a WHIO Facebook page post that shared the initial story, saying Doordash is responsive to customer complaints and offers prompt refunds for customers who have problems.
Several customers also praised Doordash’s service.
“As a consumer, Doordash is great,” one Facebook user wrote. “I've had consistently good delivery and customer service from them.”
Another Facebook user wrote, “We use Doordash regularly for businesses that don't already deliver. It's nice to have more options for what to eat, especially at work when we can't always get away. I have never had an issue with Doordash and highly recommend it to others.”
One customer described her first experience with Doordash “awful” but after receiving a refund, she has used the service “several times and have been pleasantly surprised and happy.”
A Doordash spokeswoman told this news outlet Tuesday afternoon via email that she was looking into Geraci’s complaints and would provide a response to us, but no response had been received as of Friday morning. (**NOTE: See Doordash statement at the top of this file that was received Friday afternoon.)
Some of the issues Geraci and other Dayton-area restaurant owners brought up are not new.
Eater New York’s web site published a story in November 2015 headlined, “Delivery Start-Up DoorDash Infuriates Some Restaurateurs by Working Around Them” that echoes similar complaints.
The Dayton area, or at least some communities in the region, have become a hotbed of competition among meal-delivery services in recent months, as companies such as Grubhub, Uber Eats and Doordash have expanded their presence and services here.
What are your thoughts on meal delivery services in Dayton? Let us know in the comments below.