Loyal fans of In-N-Out Burger might be thrilled at the prospect of having a Double-Double and Animal-style fries delivered to their front door, but the iconic burger chain feels otherwise. The company has filed a lawsuit against food delivery startup DoorDash, reports TMZ.
Similar to other third-party delivery services like GrubHub, DoorDash — which raised an additional $35 million last spring for a total valuation of around $600 million — offers customers the ability to order food from numerous restaurants via its website or mobile app.
In the complaint, filed November 6 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, In-N-Out accuses the California-based delivery startup of trademark infringement and unfair competition, and seeks a permanent injunction to get DoorDash to stop delivering its food. The lawsuit says that "despite the fact that [DoorDash] is in no way affiliated with [In-N-Out], [DoorDash] has advertised, and continues to advertise, that it delivers food from [In-N-Out]’s restaurants" — even displaying a fake In-N-Out logo.
In addition to the fact that In-N-Out never authorized DoorDash to deliver its food, the burger chain is also concerned about how the delivery company might handle its burgers and fries: "Further, [In-N-Out] has no control over the time it takes [DoorDash] to deliver [In-N-Out]'s goods to consumers, or over the temperature at which the goods are kept during delivery, nor over the food handling and safety practices of [DoorDash]’s delivery drivers," the original complaint states.
According to the court documents, In-N-Out is seeking a jury trial; but in the meantime, it seems DoorDash has heeded the burger chain's request. While DoorDash currently offers delivery from hundreds of California restaurants, In-N-Out no longer appears to be among them.
In-N-Out isn't the only restaurant to be infuriated by DoorDash's practices: Last week Eater NY reported on several Manhattan and Brooklyn restaurants that are upset with DoorDash for inflating menu prices — an $11 cheesesteak costs $16.95 through DoorDash, for example — and using their companies' names, logos, and menus without permission.
This isn't the first lawsuit DoorDash has faced recently, either. Earlier this year the delivery company — along with peers GrubHub and Caviar — was sued for misclassifying its delivery drivers as independent contractors; the suit alleges that its drivers are treated as employees, but receive none of the benefits.
A spokesperson for DoorDash issued the following statement to Eater: "DoorDash uses its innovative logistics technology to deliver the very best food and products in neighborhoods across the country. While we have various relationships with different merchants, we are proud to help people get their favorite food delivered directly to their door."
Update 11/11, 7:08 p.m.: A spokesperson for In-N-Out sent the following statement: "DoorDash is using our food and trademarks in a way that implies we have some kind of partnership or agreement with them, when that is not the case. We have asked DoorDash several times to stop using our trademarks and to stop selling our food. Unfortunately, they have continued to prominently use our trademarks and serve our food to customers who believe that we are responsible for their delivery. Prior to filing the lawsuit, we tried contacting them several more times but they never responded to our phone calls or letters."
Check out the court documents, below:
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