A pizzeria owner in the U.S. has discovered that the DoorDash delivery app is selling his food cheaper than he is – while still paying full price for orders.
A pizza for which he charged $ 24 (20 pounds) was being advertised for $ 16 on DoorDash – and when he secretly ordered it himself, the app paid the restaurant a total of $ 24 while charging $ 16.
He did not ask to be placed in the application.
He later found out that he was part of a test to assess customer demand.
Content strategist Ranjan Roy blogger about the anonymous restaurateurwho is his friend
Roy said he heard about the situation in March 2019, when his friend started receiving complaints about deliveries, even though his stores didn't deliver.
At that point, he found that he had been added to DoorDash – and realized that he was charging a lower price for one of his premium pizzas.
Then he ordered 10 pizzas, paid $ 160 and delivered them to a friend's house.
The restaurant was then paid $ 240 for the order by DoorDash.
Next time, the restaurant prepared his friend's order by boxing the pizza base without toppings, maximizing the "profit" of incompatible prices.
"I was genuinely curious to see if DoorDash could do it – but they can't," wrote Roy.
DoorDash did not respond to BBC News's request for comment.
Roy said: "We found out afterwards that all of this was the result of a 'demand test' by DoorDash.
"They have a trial period in which they scrape the restaurant's website and charge no fee to anyone, so they can go to the restaurant with positive ordering data and then have the restaurant signed on the platform.
"Third-party delivery platforms, as they were built, look like the wrong model, but instead of testing, failing and evolving, they were subsidized by market dominance.
"You have an insanely large pool of capital, creating an incredibly inefficient business model for losing money."
DoorDash is backed by investment giant Softbank, which this week recorded a record loss of nearly $ 13 billion.
Defending the loss, Chief Executive Masayoshi Son compared himself to Jesus.
The billionaire is said to have said during a liaison with investors that Jesus "was also misunderstood".
He later apologized.