Eater looks at how big food delivery services operate against local restaurants’ wishes. Apparently, services like Doordash and Postmates have operated without some restaurant’s permission for years. Now it seems to have gotten worse.

To me, the most egregious practice is Grubhub’s registration of over 23,000 web domains that are similar to local restaurant names. This is an attempt to insert themselves between the restaurant and their customers without the of awareness of either party. Restaurants that don’t want to offer delivery, or control it themselves should be allowed to do so. They shouldn’t have their online presence or phone number hijacked by another company.

While I’m upset to hear of such shitty business practices, I can’t say I’m shocked. Cities don’t need, nor can they sustain 5 or more delivery services. While each one is angling for market share, apparently ethics take a back seat.

In response, I’ve deleted my Seamless app; deleting my account is another story. There is no way to delete accounts on Seamless’ web site, which is another shit business practice. I’ve emailed their customer care people, we’ll see what they come back with. Update 2020-02-09: Seamless customer care deleted my account within a couple days of my request.

I don’t expect my one household boycott to make a dent, but I don’t want to support this sort of behavior. Plus, I look forward to speaking with the woman at the pizzeria next time we get a pie.

via Slashdot

Poor UX and dark patterns are not limited to the web and mobile apps. If you’ve found yourself in a chain restaurant recently, you may have seen a little Ziosk device on the tables. Customers can use Ziosk to order food or pay their tab. According to Businessweek, some restaurants also offer games, for a price:

Chili’s offers unlimited games on the tablets for $0.99, and the chain shares this revenue with Ziosk. The restaurant says about customers at one in 10 tables pay to play during the meal…

There’s nothing wrong with charging for services, but do customers need to be tricked into parting with their money? Apparently Chili’s and Ziosk think so. Here’s the the screen the user is presented with after answering a random trivia question:

Ziosk Trickery

Look at it quickly. Did the user answer the trivia question correctly? Which button would you choose in this context? Would you choose the massive, bright green button? How many Chili’s customers knowingly spend 99¢ and how many are duped by this dark pattern?