Two restaurants are named in a proposed class action lawsuit against Grubhub Inc. which claims that the company used the names and logos of up to 150,000 restaurants with which it had no partnership in an attempt to make more business for the digital meal delivery. business.
Antonias of Hillsborough, North Carolina and Farmer & # 39 ;s Wife of Sebastopol, California, claimed in their complaint that Chicago-based Grubhub "saw that it was losing market share to competitors … and decided that it needed to act quickly to attract new users and retain its existing customer base ", according to the lawsuits filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Chicago.
The company" began researching which restaurants were most popular with consumers ̵
"Grubhub's financial success has come at the expense of the restaurant," the complaint said. that when a customer places an order, the driver calls in the order and pretends to be a customer who picks up his own order.
The suit claims that consumers "still think they get a" direct line into the kitchen ", but when ordering from a restaurant that has been included on Grubhub without the restaurant's permission, the result is a" suboptimal dining experience full of operational challenges "- or as Grubhub's CEO put it succinctly, "the dining experience sucks. "" and service at the right time, says the suit. "The end result for restaurants is significant damage to their well-deserved reputation, loss of control over their customers' dining experiences, loss of control over their online presence and reduced consumer demand for their services."
The plaintiff seeks an assessment showing that Grubhub has violated federal law by using restaurant names and logos without permission and in a manner that may confuse consumers; orders that Grubhub "cease its illegal conduct, hand over its ill-gotten gains and pay damages to the restaurants it has damaged."
Grubhub did not respond to a request for comment.