Savvy restaurant owner makes money buying his own pizza on DoorDash app

As they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And that’s exactly what one restaurant owner did when he found out that DoorDash was selling his pizza without permission.

The anonymous owner, who owns Kansas-based AJ’s NY Pizzeria, shared his story online via a friend: content strategist Ranjan Roy.

Roy used his blog to share with the internet how DoorDash added his restaurant to their platform as part of a “‘demand test.'”

“They have a test period where they scrape the restaurant’s website and don’t charge any fees to anyone, so they can ideally go to the restaurant with positive order data to then get the restaurant signed onto the platform,” Roy explained.

The only problem? DoorDash never notified Roy’s friend that he would be part of said “demand test.”

One day, “he realized that a delivery option had mysteriously appeared on their company’s Google Listing. The delivery option was created by Doordash,” Roy wrote.

“To confirm, he had never spoken with anyone from Doordash and after years of resisting the siren song of delivery revenue, certainly did not want to be listed. But the words ‘Order Delivery’ were right there, prominently on the Google snippet.”

The DoorDash deliveries were problematic — not only because DoorDash drivers weren’t using proper pizza bags to keep the food warm, but also because “the prices were off.”

“A pizza that he charged $24 for was listed as $16 by Doordash,” Roy explained.

Well, this led to a brilliant idea on Roy’s friend’s part. Since DoorDash was still giving Roy’s friend the full amount for all delivery orders, he decided to start ordering his own pizza and netting the extra profit.

“He called in and placed an order for 10 pizzas to a friend’s house and charged $160 to his personal credit card. A Doordash call center then called into his restaurant and put in the order for those 10 pizzas. A Doordash driver showed up with a credit card and paid $240 for the pizzas,” Roy explained. “It worked.”

Over the next few weeks, Roy and his friend put in a few more of these “orders” just to see if DoorDash would catch on. According to Roy, “they didn’t.”

As Roy noted in his blog post, DoorDash is owned by Softbank, a company that “represented everything wrong about startup evolution through the 2010s. Raise a ton of money, lose a ton of money, and just obliterate the basic economics of an industry.”

If you enjoyed this story, check out how this woman’s “local” pizza delivery actually came from Chuck E. Cheese.

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