UPDATE: Impostor Las Vegas Restaurants Removed by Uber Eats

Posted on: April 23, 2024, 08:51h. 

Last updated on: April 23, 2024, 08:51h.

UPDATE: Uber Eats has paused onboarding any new restaurants in the Las Vegas area as it investigates the claims brought to its attention by the following report. The company has also set up an email, ubereatsvegas@uber.com, for restaurants and their patrons to report any suspected impersonation on its app in the future.

EARLIER: If you order dinner to your Las Vegas hotel room, it may have been prepared by scammers. Nearly 20 impostor listings have been found posing as respected Sin City restaurants on Uber Eats, Grubhub, and other food-delivery apps.

Award-winning chef-owner James Trees poses with his staff at the real Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas. (Image: gayot.com)

These include listings for Esther’s Kitchen, Gaetano’s Ristorante, Manizza’s Pizza, Solamente Pizza, and Brooklyn’s Best Pizza & Pasta on Uber Eats — restaurants that don’t deliver via Uber Eats.

“How can you allow businesses to be impersonated and damage people’s reputations on your platform?” Esther’s Kitchen chef-owner James Trees, a 2020 James Beard Award nominee, asked Uber Eats in a Facebook post this week. “I wonder which one of my lawyer friends wants to sue a giant company for allowing garbage restaurants to impersonate the business that I built from the ground up?”

Impasta Syndrome

The best way to protect yourself is either to phone the number listed on a restaurant’s legit web page and ask if they deliver via the app you want to use, or, even more simply, to cross-check the address on the delivery app with the one listed on Yelp, where it’s a good idea to always check a restaurant’s reviews first anyway.

For instance, the real Esther’s Kitchen is located at 1131 S. Main St. in downtown Las Vegas. Esther’s Italian Pasta Kitchen, the impostor name on Uber Eats, listed its address as 10890 S. Eastern Ave., Suite 107, in Henderson. That’s the physical address of a restaurant called NY Pizza & Bagel Café.

The address listed on Uber Eats for Gaetano’s Ristorante — a respected family-owned establishment serving Henderson, Nev. for 20 years — matched the Chinatown address of Boss Pizza, a joint with only 1.5 Yelp stars. Its address was also featured in the impostor listing for Solamente Pizza.

The two paragraphs you just read were written in the past tense because their impostor listings were removed as of Friday morning after reports about them, and other spoof restaurant listings on Grubhub, appeared on KVVU-TV/Las Vegas and in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday.

This impostor listing on Uber Eats for Shanghai Taste lists the address of an unrelated Chinese restaurant. (Image: Uber Eats)

However, Uber Eats still lists a “Shanghai Taste Handmade Dumplings & Asian Cuisine” at 14 Pacific Ave. in Henderson. That happens to be the address of a Chinese restaurant called Rose Garden.

Uber Eats also lists a Shanghai Taste Noodle at 4075 S. Durango Drive #106, which is the address of Mandarin Garden.

The real ShangHai Taste, at 4266 W. Spring Mountain Road, #104A, is a popular Chinatown restaurant known for xiao long bao dumplings prepared by chef Jimmy Li, a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist.

Zero Recourse Meal

Other than a game of legal whack-a-mole, the spoofed restaurants don’t have much recourse. They can have an attorney fire off a cease-and-desist order, which will usually result in the fake listing’s removal.

If the impostor never poses as the same restaurant on the same platform again, no further legal action is likely to be effective.

If you would like to avoid other scams in Las Vegas, check out our list of the five biggest ones.