Eater's investigation into the murky underworld of fake Seamless restaurants is ongoing, but it should be noted that the phenomenon is nothing new. Restaurants have been making up names, offering multiple menus, and otherwise duping customers since the dawn of online delivery services (if not even earlier). While the Eater team works diligently to unearth the impostors out there, here, in brief, is a partial history of New York restaurant delivery fakery.
· 2007: Back when phones were the primary means of ordering food, at least one restaurant still managed to pull off the old switcheroo. Eater uncovered this sordid tale of a Chinese restaurant that took over the phone number for Rosie & Tang when it shuttered, and proceeded to deliver sub-par chicken and broccoli to the loyal, unsuspecting fans of Rosie & Tang.
· 2009: Browsing Delivery.com, Nick Solares uncovered multiple "online restaurants" being run out of the then-shuttered Cafe Brama. There was a burger spot called Burger Exit, a Greek spot called Go Hellenic, a Mexican place called Tres Morenas, and an Italian restaurant known as Macaronda, all delivering food from the same address. A taste test confirmed low expectations.
· 2012: The Times uncovered a similar practice, wherein restaurants created multiple Seamless accounts under different names to garner more business. Aaron's Grill (now defunct) was apparently Blue 9 Burger's attempt to upsell fancy burgers and jump the line in Seamless's alphabetical list of restaurants. Meanwhile, Jeremy Spector of The Brindle Room was making and delivering his Donkey Punch Pizza (now only available at its Rockaway brick and mortar) from the Brindle Room's kitchen.
· 2014: One of the restaurants uncovered by the Times, Kool Bloo, continues to skirt Seamless restrictions on multiple accounts. At each of its locations it offers one menu under the name Kool Bloo, another under the title Freakin Wings, and a third by the name of BBQ Pit. Another current offender in this category is A La Mode Oriental, a Chinese food menu "brought to you by New York Thai Grill," (i.e. delivered out of the same kitchen). A representative for Kool Bloo justifed the multiple accounts to the Times by saying that it give customers "the easiest way to order," without having to navigate "menu sprawl."
Know of any other multiple, fake, or otherwise questionable Seamless operations out there? Send a note to the tipline. So far we've only just skimmed the surface.
· All Coverage of NYC Delivery [~ENY~]