Seen & Heard: Another GrubHub Seamless Scheme

••• Another chapter in the GrubHub Seamless saga…. TGRbass discovered two websites for Yaar Indian Restaurant in Astoria: the restaurant’s own (yaarindianrestaurant.com) and one that GrubHub set up (yaarindianrestaurant.net). The restaurant’s website links to Yelp’s Eat24 for delivery; GrubHub’s website links to GrubHub Seamless. I called Yaar to see if anyone there knew about it, and I couldn’t get a clear answer; they kept asking if I was from GrubHub. Then I asked GrubHub. “The short answer is that these nitrosites are a part of our standard agreement with restaurants, and all restaurants have the option to opt out,” responded the rep. What’s a nitrosite? Google was no help. “A nitrosite is a simple/straightforward website that is optimized for search engines.” And just to be 100% clear, restaurants must choose to opt out? If so, are they notified of the site’s existence in any way beyond the standard agreement? “The nitrosite is clearly outlined in the agreement. Beyond that, conversations with individual restaurant owners during the onboarding process vary depending on the priorities of each restaurant. General feedback from restaurant owners has been that these sites are beneficial, as many restaurants don’t have their own site. An additional note: restaurant owners can opt out at any time. Meaning that if they initially have a nitrosite and decide later that they don’t want one, we absolutely accommodate that request.” You can decide for yourself whether this is specious or not. But I’d love to know if any Tribeca restaurants are aware of this.

Yaar search results••• Another rendering of what to expect from Amanda Parer’s “Intrude” installation at Brookfield Place (April 17-30). UPDATE: They’re in San Francisco now, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Intrude by Amanda Parer••• There seems to be activity at 156 Reade, most recently the Nestseekers real estate office.

156 Reade••• Fulton Stall Market at the South Street Seaport opens for the season on April 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vendor list here. Let’s hope Orwashers has that dense Morning Spelt Bread on hand….

••• I’m going to Tokyo at the end of May—any restaurant recommendations are welcome! Non-food advice is OK, too, but I’ve been to the city before so I’ve done the main tourist stuff. This trip is about eating.

••• Helmholz Fine Art of Manchester, Vt., has opened a by-appointment gallery at 116 Duane. The first show, of works by Stephen Schaub (that’s one below), opens April 16.

6 Comments

  1. TriBeCa Citizen is almost on the verge of obsessed with Grubhub Seamless. Latest beef? That they are creating free marketing for restaurants that didn’t otherwise have it. OH NO!!!!

    • Guilty! I do find the company’s actions fascinating! Which explains the four posts on the company in seven years.

      As for “free marketing,” that’s certainly one way to look at it. For the record, however, Yaar has its own website—on which it chose, for whatever reason, not to use Seamless. So Seamless went and built a website of its own, optimized to appear high in search results, to compete with it. All orders ultimately go to Yaar, of course, but it’s still a shady move.

      Moreover, it seems to me that the restaurants least likely to have their own websites are the ones owned by people who probably don’t understand the legalese in the contract—let alone the word “nitrosite.”

  2. Les Creations de Narisawa was absolutely insane – we went for lunch when the price was much cheaper than dinner.

    Best ramen EVER: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1066457-d1686998-r153931741-Menya_Musashi-Shinjuku_Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html\

  3. I think you mean ‘microsite’ and not ‘nitrosite’.

    • I thought the same thing, and I even tried typing microsite on my phone to see if it would autocorrect to nitrosite. When I emailed the GrubHub rep about it, we had an exchange during which she used the word “nitrosite” five times (and “microsite” not once).

Comment: