SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– A Springfield restaurant owner said he’s become the victim of a food delivery scam.
He calls it a case of stolen identity – where someone else has listed his menu on apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Not just the menu either. The address and phone number have been listed too, but under a different name.
“They’re scamming us because the money’s supposed to go here, and it’s going that way,” Chameleon Cuisine owner Yoni Vargas said. “And we’re still sending out the food, but we’re not getting anything for it.”
Vargas said the restaurant spent weeks fulfilling orders for free before realizing someone else was offering their menu on food delivery apps.
“The big flag was when they had our address and they had our menu,” Vargas said. “One of the Uber drivers was able to show me enough information that I went actually online and looked for it and they don’t exist. Some of these places don’t exist.”
It started with a taco place, then a wing place and now a business called Salt & Rye. A quick search found Salt & Rye was also operating on DoorDash under what seems to be stolen menus – in at least 10 other cities across the U.S.
“I was like, ‘Okay, if we can find whatever’s on that tablet and you can’t find the ghost orders that are coming in, where’s that money going?'” Vargas said.
Vargas said Chameleon Cuisine’s missed out on hundreds in income, making meals they were never paid for. Now, they’re only fulfilling orders that can be verified through their point of sale.
“Right now, we’re not making orders on those that are popping up in our system,” Vargas said. “Sometimes I feel bad because I’m like, ‘Hey, you order a product, you should get it,’ and it’s disappointing. But then I’m like, we can’t survive with that. We just can’t, even with one order a day. It adds up.”
Vargas said he’s reaching out to Uber Eats and DoorDash hoping they can fix the problem. So far? No luck.
His advice for anyone ordering food online is to always double-check the address of a restaurant before you order on delivery apps, and if possible order over the phone or directly through a business website.