We’ve covered the troubling topic of delivery burgers before. No matter how hard the craving hits during lunch time and how unwilling you are to leave your desk, getting a burger that’s been steaming inside of a wrapper for half an hour while the delivery person sits in gridlock traffic is always going to be a huge disappointment. The bun gets soggy from the lettuce, the lettuce gets hot from the patty, and the patty gets cold from the tomato. It’s terrible situation for everyone involved; but we never thought anyone would get sued over it.
In-N-Out has officially filed a lawsuit against the delivery company DoorDash seeking damages and a permanent injunction, due, in part, to tepid, soggy burgers. “[In-N-Out] has no control over the time it takes [DoorDash] to deliver [In-N-Out]’s goods to consumers, or over the temperature at which the goods are kept during delivery, nor over the food handling and safety practices of [DoorDash]’s delivery drivers,” the complaint states.
Soggy sandwiches aren’t all that’s at stake here though. As it turns out, DoorDash has been using restaurant logos and menus without permission. “DoorDash is using our food and trademarks in a way that implies we have some kind of partnership or agreement with them, when that is not the case. We have asked DoorDash several times to stop using our trademarks and to stop selling our food,” says In-N-Out General Counsel Arnie Wensinger. “Unfortunately, they have continued to prominently use our trademarks and serve our food to customers who believe that we are responsible for their delivery. Prior to filing the lawsuit, we tried contacting them several more times but they never responded to our phone calls or letters.”
It appears that In-N-Out isn’t the only restaurant dissatisfied with DoorDash’s shady tactics either. Eater New York reported a story earlier this week about a restaurant called Delilah’s Steaks rejecting a sales pitch from the DoorDash, only to find their logo and menu on the website days later. Since delivery companies typically have a high markup on menu items—either that or they take a commission fee from the restaurant—quality control is absolutely paramount, and that’s something services like DoorDash just can’t offer.
We reached out to Door Dash to snag a comment, but all their spokesperson would give us is this non-sequitur that sounds like it was copy and pasted out of their online mission statement, “DoorDash uses its innovative logistics technology to deliver the very best food and products in neighborhoods across the country. While we have various relationships with different merchants, we are proud to help people get their favorite food delivered directly to their door.” Yes, thank you DoorDash, we know; you’re super innovative and stuff.