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Jamestown restaurants express concerns about DoorDash coming to town

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service. You can order food from restaurants through the app and a driver or "Dasher" will pick up the order and deliver it.

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — Ecklof Bakery has been serving sweets and sandwiches to the people of Jamestown since 1956. Like many mom-and-pop shops, if you want to enjoy their inventory, you have to drop in. 

So, you can imagine owner Chad Ecklof's surprise when he downloaded the DoorDash app and saw his bakery already listed.

"Just logistically speaking it puts a business in a bad spot," Ecklof said. "We're just not set up for it." 

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service. Customers can order food from restaurants through the app and a driver will pick it up and deliver it to them. However, Ecklof said no one asked him before putting his shop on the website. Not only that, he told 2 On Your Side the menu they posted was inaccurate and outdated.

He explained, "The panini sandwich is listed on their service as $7.30. We're selling panini sandwiches now for $7.95. Right away the customer — 'That's not what I agreed to pay.' So how do you deal with that? And of course, the only way to deal with it is to become a partner. Pay them so you can now manage your account in order to keep it straight."

It's not just Ecklof, either. Many restaurant owners in Jamestown told us they're having a similar experience. 

"There are many reasons why restaurants would choose to not utilize a third party delivery system other than fear of food tampering," said Margaret Kaltenmeier, owner of Forte Restaurant. "Our biggest reason is that we have such a small kitchen and staff providing fresh exciting food.  And we could not deal with the volume that a delivery service like that might demand."

Kaltenmeier added, "I'm sorry to any customers who saw Forte listed on the DoorDash app, only to be disappointed by the fact that we never actually signed a contract to partner with them.  We wouldn't have, and now, never will." 

We reached out to DoorDash to find out what they had to say about the complaints.

This is the statement we received from a DoorDash spokesperson: 

"DoorDash launched almost 6 years ago with one goal - to help local businesses thrive by being their last-mile logistics partner. For restaurants that want to provide additional operational efficiency and receive data analytics for their orders, DoorDash provides the opportunity to partner in a more formal relationship. Regardless of the relationship, restaurants have told us that they’ve seen increased sales, new customers and improved operations thanks to our ordering apps and delivery services. For the majority of our merchants, being on DoorDash offers not only an additional influx of customers and revenue but also presents an additional marketing opportunity. For those not interested in being on DoorDash for any reason, we immediately remove them from the platform upon their request. "