Brooklyn gourmet sandwich shop going hungry waiting for online payments

DUMBO, Brooklyn (WABC) -- When you order food online from a restaurant, you're often directed to a third party; a middleman that takes your money, alerts the eatery to make your items and sometimes handles delivery too.

But a local chef in Brooklyn says he wasn't getting the dough for months worth of his special roasted and toasted sandwiches, so he called 7 On Your Side to turn up the heat.

At Brooklyn eatery Bread and Spread, all their sandwiches, from the slow roasted Porchetta to the short rib, are made to order.

"We offer a fresh product, we take a lot of pride in what we do," chef and owner John Coppola said.

Coppola turned to an online service to keep up with demand.

"It wasn't cheap, but it was hard for me to manage social media, day to day," Coppola said. "And it's nice to have online ordering in our neighborhood, so I wanted that advantage."

He hired Munch Ado and paid them about $600 monthly to manage his website, post ads and take in the dough for food orders online.

He was supposed to be paid every two weeks. But Coppola says the startup company started to slip and wasn't forwarding customers' money to the restaurant for months.

"We're taking all these orders online and the product's going out, but the money's not coming in," Coppola said.

When the chef noticed the payment problem, he put in a short order with Munch Ado to be paid. But he said he was offered a payment plan that would spread his payments into the red.

"Being owed money is the worst thing in this biz. Cash flow is crucial, especially because I had a sales tax bill coming up," Coppola said.

That tax bill? More than $16,000 due in a couple days. So 7 On Your Side took a bite out of Munch Ado and asked for Coppola to be paid pronto.

The chef says Munch Ado's CEO called him personally, apologized and sent him $4,465.95 in a couple of days.

Munch Ado's CEO said cutbacks caused communication problems which he's working to improve,

He also said between 10 and 20 other clients/businesses are also owed and promised to settle invoices within days of 7 On Your Side's call.

One big takeaway -- if you're a business outsourcing to a third party to collect, make sure you keep records and stay on top of what you're owed every week.

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