As anyone who's ever eaten an In-N-Out Double Double knows, there's nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a fresh, hot cheeseburger from the regional chain of fast-food restaurants. And as anyone who lives east of Texas knows, the company is fastidious when it comes to quality control, which it believes it can't practice too far from HQ. (In-N-Out refuses to open locations more than 500 miles from its two distribution centers in Baldwin Park, California, and Dallas.)
Control freaks? Maybe. But In-N-Out's stellar product speaks for itself.
So, in a way, it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise to learn that the Irvine, California-based company has sued DoorDash, a food delivery service, for continuing to deliver its food to customers despite multiple requests to stop.
According to the lawsuit, which you can read online here, In-N-Out's concerns are at least in part related DoorDash's handling of In-N-Out's food and the fact that the delivery service's use of In-N-Out trademarks implies the company has permission to deliver In-N-Out food, which is does not.
Here's an excerpt from the lawsuit:
[DoorDash's] use of [In-N-Out's] famous trademarks implies that [DoorDash] not only delivers In-N-Out products to its customers, but that the quality and services offered by [DoorDash] is the same as if consumers had made purchases directly from [In-N-Out']. Upon information and belief, the quality of services offered by [DoorDash] does not at all comport with the standards that consumers expect from [In-N-Out's] goods and services. 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. While [In-N-Out] adheres to the Food Code, on information and belief, [DoorDash] does not adhere to such regulations, including with regard to compliance with required food safety and handling practices.
The lawsuit was filed in California District Court on November 6.
Though most people may not have ever heard of DoorDash — let alone used the service, which is available in parts of metro Phoenix — the company is the go-to delivery service for national fast-food chains KFC and Taco Bell. The two-year-old company is one of a handful of third-party delivery services including PostMates, GrubHub, and UberEATS. Some of these companies are also facing lawsuits from their own delivery drivers, who are suing in California for being classified as independent contractors. Doing so allows the companies to skip providing employee benefits.
We've reached out to DoorDash for comment but have yet to hear back.