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New delivery food concept creates confusion for Nashville both restaurants and customers

WSMV Nashville 10/6/2022 Sharon Danquah
Virtual restaurants create confusion for customers © Provided by WSMV Nashville Virtual restaurants create confusion for customers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A new food delivery concept is creating a lot of confusion for customers and business owners here in Nashville.

Owners said the new concept is causing them to miss out on profits, and customers are also losing. For example, when you order food from an app to be delivered, dozens of local options pop up. But now virtual restaurants are adding to that list, and those delivery drivers are coming here to the citizens kitchen, where chefs say they have no idea what’s happening.

“It says they have all of this really good-looking food,” DoorDash Customer Alyssa Joseph said.

When Alyssa Joseph said she saw a new ghost kitchen menu available on DoorDash, she immediately placed an order.

“It did not; it did not arrive,” Joseph said. After one driver canceled her order and another picked it back up, Joseph got a call from her driver.

“She drove all the way to Hunter’s Station, and she went in and asked the people in citizens kitchen if they’ve heard of the restaurant called dirty little vegan, and they had not,” Joseph said.

Lauren Wilson, the Managing Partner of Citizen Kitchen, said they get that same question from delivery drivers at least five times a day.

“Over and over. And this one today was the same restaurant, Dirty Little Vegan,” Wilson said.

Wilson said she’s reached out to several food delivery companies asking for answers but has yet to get a resolution.

“Every time I hear about it, I try to contact them and spend hours on it, and then the next day we get another order for it, and it’s frustrating all around, Lauren said.”

WSMV4 reached out DoorDash and GrubHub. Food Delivery officials say Dirty Little Vegan is a part of their virtual restaurant option that allows local restaurants to try out new recipes.

But Wilson said that was not communicated well, and it’s taking away business from actual Ghost Kitchen Chefs like Mariah Ragland.

“I could have had those customers in the beginning; that would have been great,” Mariah Ragland said.

While Joseph said many people already have suspicions about Ghost kitchens, this confusion may worsen.

“This is like an even larger deterrent for them to choose that,” Joseph said.

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