Robot regrets: Some local Bowling Green businesses are frustrated with Starship Delivery

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:19 PM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The food delivery robots roaming Bowling Green State University may be a hit with students, but some local business owners say they have been having issues receiving payment from the company that owns them.

They are owned by Starship Technologies, a company with headquarters in San Francisco, CA.

The first Starship Robots appeared on the BGSU campus back in February 2020.

”They’re really cute. They’re easy to handle,” said Guajillo’s Mexican Restaurant General Manager Rebecca Olivarez.

Now, some local restaurants that use the service say they are not receiving their end of the deal.

We were able to confirm with six locally owned restaurants that they were or are having issues receiving payments from Starship Technologies.

They include Kabob-It, Sterling’s Amish Deli, Grumpy’s, Guajillo’s, BG Burgers and Dairy Queen.

“I went back and it was about two months of it, but I started reaching out and it took a couple weeks, maybe two weeks to complete the whole payment process, but they did start with one small payment and then I had to reach back and say hey this doesn’t match with my numbers. They eventually ended up paying everything by the beginning of this week,” said Olivarez.

One place in town, called Kabob-It, has actually already severed ties with the robot delivery service, with the owner telling 13ABC over the phone he was too frustrated to talk about the situation again.

Some places are threatening to do the same if the problem continues.

“We’re going to continue for the moment but if we do have this issue again we’re going to have to cut it out of our business unfortunately,” Olivarez said.

“I’m giving away thousands of dollars of food and I’m not getting any payment for it especially in today’s times when I’m dealing with food shortages and costs of food increasing constantly it’s a big deal so I can’t just give away food and not get paid for it,” added Sterling’s Amish Deli Owner Steve Sterling.

We reached out to Starship Technologies who tells us in a statement,

“We’re privileged to serve the Bowling Green community over the last few years. Our partners are very important to us and we’re sorry that some experienced issues with payments. We are putting new internal processes in place so this doesn’t happen again. We appreciate our partners’ loyalty while we work to fix these issues.”

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