The city of Chicago filed lawsuits against DoorDash and Grubhub Friday accusing the companies of "unfair and deceptive practices," including advertising delivery services from unaffiliated restaurants and tacking on extra fees at the end of transactions. The city is seeking more transparency from the companies and restitution for restaurants and customers, as well as civil penalties.
"It is deeply concerning and unfortunate that these companies broke the law during these incredibly difficult times, using unfair and deceptive tactics to take advantage of restaurants and consumers who were struggling to stay afloat," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement Friday.
Specifically, the city accuses Grubhub of violating its 15% cap on fees for restaurants, passed in response to the pandemic, as well as creating "impostor" websites that look like they belong to a restaurant, but actually route to Grubhub. The city alleges that DoorDash, meanwhile, has misled users into thinking that tips went directly to drivers. "Instead, DoorDash largely used the consumer's 'tip' to subsidize its own agreed payment to the driver," the complaint reads.
The city also accuses both companies of failing to disclose when the price of menu items was inflated on their apps, compared to the restaurant's own prices.
Food delivery apps are facing a wave of backlash across the country. San Francisco passed a permanent cap on delivery commissions in June. In New York City, the city council passed a bill this week to permanently cap the fees such companies can charge.