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Why Was My Grubhub Order Canceled?

In the past few years, Grubhub has become a juggernaut of the culinary takeout world. It’s a service that has rendered food delivery phone calls completely unnecessary. Through their desktop website or dedicated mobile app, you can now have food delivered directly to your doorstep.

However, issues occasionally arise. Orders get canceled by Grubhub and you’re left empty-handed. Of course, they’ll refund you fully. But it still pays to know a little more about order cancelation process. Read on to find out all you need to know.

Why Your Order Was Canceled

There are multiple reasons why your order may have been canceled. Most likely, it boils down to the actual merchant. You see, Grubhub is a service that delivers food from the merchant to you. It accepts your order, filters through it, sends it to the restaurant, processes it, picks it up, and delivers it to you.

Grubhub doesn’t make the food and the only interaction that it has with restaurant personnel is via the delivery driver who picks up the order itself. Whenever you make the order through Grubhub, there’s a confirmation period that can take up to a few minutes. After this process, the order is either confirmed or declined. If the former, you’ll see the approximate delivery time and you’ll get a receipt.

However, in some instances, an accepted order may be canceled. To make things worse, this can happen after an hour or more, when all the time you’ve been patiently waiting for your order.

Again, there are multiple reasons behind this.

grubhub why was order cancelled

The Merchant Closed Up Shop

Things get confused and wrong calculations are made. The staff at the restaurant you’ve ordered from may have thought that they’d be able to wrap up your order and send it off, but failed to do so. In this case, they’ll contact Grubhub and ask them to notify you that the order was canceled. You’ll receive your refund, of course.

The Merchant Is Too Busy

It happens. Restaurants get overwhelmed. They plan your order, but it turns out that it might’ve been too big of a bite for them to chew on. Usually, they’ll just refuse your order, but they may make a wrong calculation from time to time, and will be forced to cancel.

Equipment Malfunction

All payment interactions performed on Grubhub are done via card (except the delivery driver tips that aren’t obligatory). This means that there are procedures in place that are supposed to work. One equipment malfunction (which may vary from router issues to things far more complicated), however, and the restaurant may not be able to accept your payment. This is often the reason for canceled orders.


If you’re a customer, you can rest easy, as you won’t be tricked out of your money. As a rule of thumb, if you ask for a refund, you’ll get it.

Naturally, this is a huge downside for restaurants. Why? Because all refunds are charged to the restaurant. This means that a customer may complain about a missing item (without it actually being missing) and they’ll probably get refunded. In other words, customers might try and scam the restaurant, making false claims about their order. And Grubhub has decided that it won’t handle such minor customer complaints.

grubhub order cancelled

Of course, the restaurant can fight back through official legal channels, but they’ll probably decide not to pursue the matter in these circumstances.

As a customer, it’s up to you whether you’re going to try and take advantage of a restaurant. Keep in mind that it’s their hard-earned money that’s on the line. Oh, and if you “trick” a restaurant in this way, they probably won’t deliver to your address ever again.

Cancelations and Refunds

Incidences of order cancelations on Grubhub are very rare, especially owing to the fact that it’s the restaurant that would have to pay off the full refund, not Grubhub. However, you should think about the restaurants when making a complaint – if it’s a minor one, you’ll get a refund – but is it really worth it?

Has a restaurant ever canceled your Grubhub order? Have you ever asked for a refund? What are your thoughts on Grubhub’s refund policy? Feel free to hit the comments section to let us know.