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Editorial: Grubhub, DoorDash racket needs reform. The city of Chicago was right to sue.

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Imagine that you own a neighborhood restaurant with a loyal base of customers.

It’s likely that you started offering delivery during the pandemic, when the state of Illinois required indoor dining to close, but maybe you chose to maintain your own website and hire your own trusted drivers so you could control the quality of the food arriving at your customers’ doors.

Fair enough, surely? Is not the right of a small-business owner to choose with whom to partner, and whom to avoid, a fundamental tenet of a free American marketplace?

Not in the dining and takeout business, apparently.

The notorious dining apps Grubhub and DoorDash, which also owns Caviar, not only sucked globs of revenue from struggling local restaurateurs during the pandemic, but they also targeted those who chose not to work with them by creating their own facsimiles of their menus and websites and delivering food from those restaurants anyway, raising the prices along the way for their own benefit.

Guess who got hurt if the order was wrong or the food was cold and diners complained?

Here’s a hint. Not the apps. The victims were the restaurants that had been slowly building their reputations for years, only for Big Tech to come in and ruin them in an instant.

History teaches us that Big Tech quickly moves on to the next fun thing to disrupt. Local businesses tend to stick with their communities.

Here in Chicago, we have long experience with protection rackets.

Take away the Silicon Valley-speak,........

© Chicago Tribune

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