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Being a regular DoorDash user means you're accustomed to the well-known outlets in your area. Of late, there are suppliers on DoorDash that don't have an extensive menu or a recognizable name, so can you trust to order from them? Are there fake restaurants on DoorDash? Well, kind of.

There are two types of fake restaurants on DoorDash. One type of profile is a deliberate attempt to scam customers, and the other is a ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens are large hotels with a side menu on DoorDash that is still legitimate. Unfortunately, fake restaurants are only removed once reported.

Although DoorDash is a safe and reliable platform, scammers are masters of infiltrating even the best and most trusted apps. Several reports in recent news articles show restaurants and customers lamenting being scammed. Let's distinguish between these fake restaurants and ghost kitchens.

What Qualifies As A Fake Restaurant On DoorDash?

Fake restaurants or profiles on DoorDash pop up when a scammer deliberately steals the name of a popular outlet and creates a secondary page on the app. The difference is –

  • The original restaurant will not get the order, 
  • The scammers redirect funds into their accounts.

Several well-known restaurants have had clients arriving at their door fuming and demanding their orders since it was never delivered. Only after the 4th client complained about the same thing did the restaurant realize they were the victim of a fake restaurant profile on DoorDash.

The only time DoorDash is aware of a fake restaurant is when the original restaurant and clients complain.

What Happens If You Buy From A Fake Restaurant On DoorDash? 

Besides the awful realization that you have been scammed, you should immediately go onto the DoorDash app and report the situation to the help center. 

If you scroll down on the DoorDash landing page, there are around 20 preloaded Q&A options under the HELP section, and if need be, you can engage one of the DoorDash representatives to help escalate the issue. 

Due to the DoorDash policy and T&C, you don't have a guarantee you will get your money back since there is no recourse for DoorDash to engage with a supplier that doesn’t exist.

The next thing to do is immediately inform the restaurant and be mindful that they are also the victim of a scammer, and there could be reputational damage to them. The manager will likely be accommodating and honor the order if you alert them. 

Wait For The DoorDash Help Team To Respond 

After initiating the complaint with DoorDash, they promise to get in touch with you as soon as possible to sort out the issue. As somebody who places a high value on customer service and service delivery, I know how infuriating it can be when you spend good money on food, which turns out bad. 

Give DoorDash customer service a chance to investigate and follow its protocols and procedures. They take quality and service delivery seriously and will do whatever they can to assist. 

Remember that DoorDash is aware of scammers that make fake restaurant profiles on their app, but only with your help can they remove them as soon as possible. It may be a good idea to alert your bank that you were scammed so they can stop any similar payments. 

What Is A Ghost Kitchen On DoorDash?

There are two types of ghost kitchens on DoorDash. One is a large food chain or popular hotel that operates a delivery-only kitchen with no pick-up allowed. DoorDash allows legitimate ghost kitchens on their app to help businesses grow cost-effectively. 

The other is a legitimate kitchen that operates under a similar name and promises similar food to well-known outlets. You only realize the food is substandard when you tuck in. 

Essentially there is nothing wrong with a legitimate ghost kitchen that offers delivery-only options as long as the food is reasonably priced and the quality is superb. 

There is a problem if a kitchen steals the name of a reputable restaurant and tries to imitate its food brand or taste. That hugely damages the restaurant's image, especially when patrons on DoorDash are unsatisfied. A bad review on a profile can be devastating and cost a business a lot of money. 


Although DoorDash attempts to do everything it can to prevent scammers from using a fake restaurant profile, there is no guarantee it might not happen to you. 

If you encounter a new profile, a good thing to do is order a small item or opt for pick-up. That way, you can build a confident relationship with the restaurant.