WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Where's my food?
Imagine placing an order for delivery with Uber Eats and being told by the restaurant it was picked up, but it never made it to your door.
A West Palm Beach restaurant owner said it has happened to her customers many times, and she's fed up.
Food delivery services nowadays make up a big chunk of revenue for local restaurants.
But for the last several months, Olimpia Zuccarelli, owner of Zuccarelli's Italian Restaurant in West Palm Beach, said some delivery drivers are stiffing customers out of their orders.
"The delivery drivers will pick them up, and the customer will call me and say, 'Where is my order?' And I would say, 'Well, what do you mean the order is gone,'" Zuccarelli said.
It's happening almost every week, according to her records.
"I went back to as far as June, and we're up to a couple of thousand dollars worth," Zuccarelli said.
She said Uber Eats refunds the customer and the merchant but with little explanation about what happened.
"They just say, 'Don't worry about it. You're still getting paid.' That’s not the issue. The issue is I'm upsetting my customer, and that's not right," Zuccarelli said.
Customer reviews on Uber Eats' social media account from various cities show similar complaints.
A local customer who emailed WPTV said she had a recent experience in West Palm Beach where she didn't receive her order but was given a full refund.
An Uber spokesperson sent the following statement to WPTV regarding the matter:
Most orders placed on Uber Eats go off without a hitch, thanks to our merchants, delivery people, and customers. A small portion of orders have errors reported by the customer, the delivery person, or the merchant. We take fraudulent behavior seriously and have filters in place to monitor both customer and delivery person behavior.
Uber Eats also said it takes delivery person fraud behavior seriously and enforces a minimum satisfaction rating. If a delivery person, has low satisfaction ratings they will be removed from the platform.
At Havana Restaurant, food delivery services have been a boon for business.
"We just started it because we are open 24 hours, and mostly the night has been the best," Havana Restaurant owner Rafael Perez said.
Perez said Uber Eats deliveries are giving the business a boost at a time when dine-in seating is still limited due to staffing.
"It's helping a lot," Perez said. "Right now they are No. 1 in deliveries."
Zuccarelli agrees the bulk of delivery orders are coming from Uber Eats. She just wants better safeguards to ensure customer satisfaction.
"It's very upsetting and discouraging for the customer and for me that I have to stop what I'm doing and rectify it when it's not even my fault," Zuccarelli said.
Uber Eats has protocols in place to deal with food delivery errors.
Click here to look at the merchant's guide.