Kennett area household bombarded with six large take-out orders it never placed

KENNETT SQUARE >> A Kennett area home was deluged with food delivery orders over the weekend, orders they never placed.

Delivery drivers from six local restaurants arrived at one house, only to be turned away, saying they never placed an order.

“I think it was a bunch of kids, but I’m not sure,” said Phil Striefel, owner of Fox’s Pizza Den in New Garden Township.

Stiefel said a delivery driver from Fox’s arrived at the house with a $93 order of pasta and appetizers. The driver was turned away.

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“As he was leaving, another pizza shop showed up with a large order,” Stiefel said. “Obviously there was pranking going on with large orders.”

The order was placed through Grubhub, on online food ordering and delivery service used by tens of thousands of restaurants in more than 900 cities in the nation. When an order is placed through the Grubhub app, it sends the order to the restaurant. The restaurant tells Grubhub they are working on the order, and an email receipt and a text confirmation is sent to the buyer. Grubhub is free to use, but GrubHub charges a commission percentage out of each and every order delivered. The amount of commission ranges from 5 percent to 15 percent with an average commission of 13 percent.

Grubhub generates revenue primarily when diners place an order on the GrubHub platform. Restaurants pay a commission, 3.05 percent of the prepaid order, for orders that are processed through the GrubHub platform.

Because the order was placed through Grubhub, Stiefel said he was paid in advance through Grubhub. But his delivery driver is out the tip.

“We’re not completely out, but we’re out,” Stiefel said. “It was definitely a legit address, but it was a hard address to find.”

On its web site, Grubhub acknowledged that on occasion, people have used stolen credit cards to make bogus orders.

Stiefel said his business verifies all phone orders, adding that this type of situation has never happened to him before.

About the Author

Fran Maye

Fran Maye is an award-winning journalist and a graduate of Shippensburg University. He and his wife Marianne live in East Marlborough. He enjoys golf and is a 4.0 tennis player. Reach the author at kennettpaper@gmail.com or follow Fran on Twitter: @kennettpaper.