Deliveroo food delivery app accepts bogus restaurant run out of prankster’s apartment… Buyer beware!
Italian Stallion’ scams food delivery app with microwaved meatballs
by Hannah Frishberg
New York Post
September 11, 2019
It’s not delivery, it’s deception.
A YouTube prankster with more than 1 million followers exposed the shortcomings of food delivery app Deliveroo’s restaurant vetting — or lack thereof — when he set up a fake restaurant called the Italian Stallion.
Josh Pieters, 25, and two buddies launched a website for the egregious eatery, listing his own apartment as the address and buying Instagram followers to bolster its social-media presence.
“We knew Deliveroo would check our website, so it would have to look good,” says the South African social-media star in a video uploaded to his YouTube account.
Pieters and his friends took funny food photos, posted nonsense recipes and registered “Italian Stallion, Ltd” before ringing up Deliveroo to explain their lack of a hygiene rating. “One day on the phone, [a customer service rep] said you can start so long as you notify the council and then they will assign a hygiene rating to your premises,” Pieters tells Insider.
“I don’t think they’re doing any checks on who’s applying to have a restaurant on Deliveroo,” Pieters says in his video documenting the restaurant’s short-lived existence. “So despite having a picture of [UK TV personality] Gemma Collins [as head chef] and an AirPod as feta cheese and no food-hygiene inspection of any kind, Deliveroo were happy for us to get going.”
The popular service — headquartered in London with operations in 200 cities around the globe — promptly sent Pieters a tablet to take orders with, and he was in business: Delivering prepackaged food from the grocery store downstairs.
“We were obviously selling microwavable meals at a premium price to people,” Pieters says. Initially, no one ordered from the Italian Stallion — so they slashed their prices to 40 percent off. To keep up with the ensuing demand, they constructed a bucket pulley system along the side of the building, to get meals from the grocery store into their apartment’s microwave faster.
In each meal delivery, Pieters’ crew included a note and the customer’s cash back in an envelope.
Before closing the restaurant on the app at the end of the video, they count their earnings and find they would have made over 100 pounds ($123) if they hadn’t returned all of it.
“I think we have established that you can put the microwave in your kitchen on Deliveroo,” Pieters says.
Now it appears his prank might get results.
“Deliveroo is looking at ways to strengthen our processes for ensuring customers receive food from outlets with the highest standards,” a Deliveroo spokesperson tells The Post.