Grubhub driver appears to eat customer's food after pickup from SoCal restaurant

Rob Hayes Image
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Grubhub driver eats customer's food after pickup from SoCal restaurant
Video appears to show a Grubhub driver feasting on a customer's order right after he picked up the food from a Long Beach restaurant.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- It's an unappetizing thought: you order food from a delivery service, and the driver decides to take several bites before it gets to you.

That's what the owner of a Long Beach restaurant is claiming happened to a customer's order.

"I noticed that he was untying the bag and started chowing down on the food," said Martin Luzanilla, CEO of Mexihana's Hibachi Grill in Long Beach.

He says his surveillance cameras caught a Grubhub driver spend several minutes eating from a customer's order after the food was picked up. The incident happened in the parking lot in front of the restaurant.

"I went outside and I was like 'What the hell are you doing?' And he's like, 'Oh, this is my lunch.' So I said, 'I'm sorry. If that's your food, I'm very, very sorry'" Luzanilla explained. "So I came back in, I reviewed the cameras and it was actually a customer's food that he was enjoying."

RELATED: Uber Eats mystery unfolds as Highland Park residents sent dozens of free meals from fast food chains

Free McDonald's, Taco Bell and Starbucks for Highland Park residents as mystery Uber Eats customer, or customers, send unwanted deliveries, spurring an investigation from the food delivery company.

Luzanilla says he called that customer more than a dozen times and eventually reached him. He warned him to throw the food away.

"I just said 'I'm actually making your food right now for you guys and I'll be personally delivering it to you,'" Luzanilla recalled.

Grubhub declined a request for an interview, and instead issued a written statement that said in part:

"The vast majority of our orders are completed without incident or complaint, and when things don't go as planned, we work hard to make things right. Upon hearing of this situation, we took immediate action and suspended the driver from our platform."

In cases where the driver is caught on camera, it reflects poorly on Grubhub. But in cases where the driver isn't recorded, it's the restaurant that takes the hit.

"Grubhub hits us back and says 'Hey, you know what, this customer didn't get enough shrimp, or this customer didn't get his fried rice, or this customer didn't get his garlic noodles - well, of course! Your drivers are buffeting on their food!" Luzanilla said. "So who pays for it? We do."

Luzanilla hopes videos like his - as rare as they are - will help take a bite out of crime.

"I hope he never delivers to anyone again," he said.