As Eater's coverage of those sneaky restaurants gaming the Seamless system continues, we turn now to a certain 57th Street Pancake House. Eater tipster Eileen writes in: "My mom told me she noticed the "57th Street Pancake House" on Seamless and tried to take my sisters there a few weeks later, couldn't find it and then realized it shared an address with the Palace Restaurant." A quick Google search reveals that the Palace Restaurant is indeed the only restaurant at 122 E 57th Street, and that it has its own Seamless page. But here's where the plot thickens...
A little more searching reveals that there is in fact a third restaurant listed at this address on Seamless: Alphaburger. The menus for each are different. Pancake House is breakfast-centric, with a large variety of waffles, French toast, and "golden brown pancakes." Alphaburger is mostly burgers and sandwiches, with no breakfast at all, while Palace Restaurant runs the gamut from simple breakfast options to "sandwich sensations," pastas, steaks, and chops. But take a look at Palace's actual website and you'll see that the pancake list looks awfully familiar:
[57th Street Pancake House menu/Palace Restaurant menu]
And Alphaburger's list of burgers is only slightly more extensive than the one at Palace:
[Burgers at Alphaburger]
[Burgers at Palace]
Here's the real kicker though. Call any of the (different) phone numbers listed on Seamless, and the same person answers with, "Palace Restaurant, how can I help you?" When Eater asked this employee about 57th Street Pancake House, she answered simply, "It's the same thing." When asked about the differences between the menus, she only insisted, "No, it's all the same."
Palace Restaurant's extra Seamless accounts line up nicely with what seem to be the main reasons a restaurant pulls this sort of trick. First, both 57th Street Pancake House and Alphaburger land at the beginning of Seamless's alphabetized list. And second, each offers a narrower menu than the real deal, with a single keyword specialty in the name, thereby targeting the user searching specifically for "burgers" or "pancakes." So, Seamless users, keep an eye out for these telltale signs, and send any suspicious restaurants to the tipline.
· All Coverage of Seamless [~ENY~]