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Pizza Arbitrage: How One Restaurant Beat DoorDash At Their Own Profit-Skimming Game

Author: Ariana Brajkovich

smart phone with food delivery apps
Any restaurant who has a partnership or has considered a partnership with a 3rd party delivery company has felt the pressure and negative effects from these giants. However, there are select restaurants who still deal with these companies interfering in their business despite having never spoken to a representative. 

That is just the case for Aj’s NY Pizzeria, a new-york style pizza shop with Manhattan and Topeka, Kansas locations. For years, the owner resisted any kind of delivery, let alone that of a 3rd party vendor. But strangely enough, they began getting complaints from customers about poor delivery experiences. Upon further investigation, Aj’s discovered that DoorDash had altered Aj’s google listing and added the restaurant to their delivery app. 

While the inability to control their customers’ experience was unfortunate, there was a positive twist. DoorDash was listing Aj’s pizzas for over 30% less than the menu price! So Aj’s ran a little test; they ordered 10 pizzas through the DoorDash app to a neighbor. Surely enough, a call came into the restaurant a few moments later from a DoorDash call center requesting the exact order. The pizzas were then delivered and Aj’s collected a cool $80 profit from ordering from his own restaurant. 

Now, just to be clear, we are not recommending this strategy whatsoever, and neither does Aj’s. Just thought that all of you out there who get the short end of the delivery stick would enjoy a story on restaurant justice. 
 
Aj’s NY Pizza did later learn that this practice is common for DoorDash, not for the long run, but as a means to aid client acquisition. The delivery company does an unauthorized data scrape to appear on the google listing so they are better equipped with informational leverage when proposing the “partnership.” 
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