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YouTube Prankster Opened a Fake Restaurant on a Delivery App and Delivered Microwaved Meals

Plus, LeBron James can’t trademark “Taco Tuesday,” and more news to start your day

Food Couriers In Berlin Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Could it be that delivery platforms don’t vet for anything?

A YouTuber in London has drawn a whole bunch of negative attention to food delivery platform Deliveroo: Vice reports that Josh Pieters was able to register a fake restaurant with the company, and then sell microwaved meals in plastic trays to customers. (To ensure the prank was firmly on Deliveroo and not at the cost of unwitting customers, Pieters also sent cash with deliveries to refund their expenses.)

There was plenty of evidence that the “restaurant,” named the Italian Stallion, was fake — its address was listed as Pieters’ apartment, and its website was loaded with non-sequiturs like a picture of an antipasto plate with Airpods in place of feta cheese. The Italian Stallion had not gone through a health inspection, either (a Deliveroo rep tells Eater that the platform allows restaurants that haven’t had their inaugural health inspection on its platform, but that they’re removed if their initial inspection then goes poorly.)

This isn’t the first time that a delivery service inadvertently carried a non-existent restaurant: in June, UberEats was caught for pretty much the same thing. Could it be that these platforms don’t care who gets listed on their sites and won’t even bother to vet, so long as they get some cold hard cash out of it? Sure seems like it!

And in other news...

  • LeBron James’ attempt to trademark the term “Taco Tuesday” was rejected by the U.S. patent office. [NYT]
  • Food brands mostly avoided embarrassing themselves on social media for the anniversary of 9/11 yesterday, save one Maryland pizza chain with a slightly cringey American flag pizza. [Fast Company]
  • Grocery store Publix has joined the likes of Walmart and Kroger in asking for customers to not bring firearms into stores. [CNN]
  • Despite a shortage of popular hard seltzer White Claw, a college fraternity in Austin managed to get its hands on $7,500 worth of the stuff. [Vice]
  • The CEO of Victoria’s Secret compared the company’s recent first attempts to make loungewear to a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. We’re wondering which part of the sweatpants represents the tartar sauce. [Business Insider]
  • Actress Alicia Silverstone yells at Starbucks because staff made her drink in a disposable cup then dumped it into the reusable cup she had brought with her — petty, but not wrong. [People]
  • Xantham gum: it’s on a lot of ingredient lists, it sounds suspicious, but it really isn’t bad for you. [The Takeout]
  • Nice one, Kit Kat. [Twitter]