You may qualify for the
Zestyer Union City Summer Promotion!
We're giving away UP TO 30 in Zestyer credits!
Here's what you do...

Add a Valid & Unique Payment Card
How is my card validated?
That's it! You get 10!
Want more?

You will receive a promotional referral code. Share it with a friend in the Union City area.
When your friend completes Step 2,
you get another 10!

Refer a friend who applies and becomes a chef.
Why Someone Should Become a Chef
When your friend is approved to be a chef,
you get another 10!
Complete the steps above to get free Zestyer credits!
Read the rules, qualifications and regulations, including restrictions on your redeemed credits, here.
Chef Verification Data Security

We ask for a lot of private information from users who want to become chefs.

This article aims to ease your data security concerns about the sensitive information we ask for.

What Is Chef Verification?

To make sure users are fit to prepare food, exchange food, and accept payment, they must meet certain standards. The process of verifying this fitness is called chef verification. Additionally, our referral program is restricted to verified chefs. Although affiliates (referral partners) do not need to meet the same criteria as chefs, we subject them to the same verification process.

Users must meet both payout standards and Zestyer standards to be verified. These standards are covered in the sections below. But first, here's what the verification form looks like.

Click to Enlarge the Verification Form 1 Image.

Verification Form 1

Click to Enlarge the Verification Form 2 Image.

Verification Form 2

Payout Standards

Zestyer is a service that pays out real money for work, in this case the preparation and exchange of food, contracted out to its users.

Whenever such a transaction takes place the government sets standards to keep everyone safe and to collect taxes. Chefs must meet these standards, which we call payout standards.

A lot of heavy bookkeeping, validation, and verification is required for such transactions. Companies have been set up for this specific purpose. Zestyer's payout company, which will be referred to as the payment processor for the remainder of this article, is called Stripe.

Stripe is very well established, having been used by big names like Uber and Lyft for payment processing. At this time, Stripe handles billions of dollars in transactions annually and has a history of data security as well as protection against fraud and scams. Trusting Stripe with your data is very safe. You agree to the Stripe Connected Account Agreement when you sign up. Please read it for more information about Stripe.

Stripe requires a certain amount of data to be taken from any user who wishes to collect funds. The data sent to Stripe is discussed later. The reasons for this data collection is as follows.

Watchlists & Crimes: Under US law, it is illegal to pay funds to certain people on certain government watchlists, i.e. the terrorist watchlist. Additionally, it may be illegal to payout to people convicted of or on trial for certain crimes.

Taxes: Zestyer pays you (the employee) through Stripe. Zestyer and Stripe keep track of your earnings and will send you a 1099-K tax form at the end of the year. This is conditional on you completing more than 200 orders and making more than $20,000. By law, it would be illegal to not do this bookkeeping.

For these reasons, any data collected by Zestyer on behalf of Stripe is non-negotiable. It is simply impossible to sell food on Zestyer without providing certain data to Stripe. It is impossible to make any exception for anyone. The data collected for Stripe is listed later in this article.

For additional reassurance: if you've already signed up for an online service that pays you, Stripe likely already has your data. Proving this data again will simply show stripe that you are a user of Zestyer.

Zestyer Standards

Zestyer standards are more subjective. However, there are two objective reasons for collecting sensitive data. The data collected is discussed later in this article.

Criminal Background Check: Zestyer employs people in the food service industry so it is important to have a clean criminal record. At this time, we conduct FCRA compliant background checks through Sentry Link. This is an accredited and trustworthy company used by many organizations. A background check is part of any standard hiring process. If you've ever signed a lengthy employment agreement, chances are, somewhere in that agreement was your consent for a background check. An important note is that this is not a credit check and will not affect your credit in any way. We may choose to change from Sentry Link to a different provider of criminal background checks. However, if it does change, it will change to a company with a similar BBB rating of at least an A. The Better Business Bureau Rating of Sentry Link is currently an A+.

We run this background check because it's important for diners to feel secure when ordering from Zestyer chefs. We do not plan on verifying anyone who doesn't consent to a background check. We want a service where diners feel comfortable knowing every person they order from has passed a background check and is fit to prepare and exchange food.

Age: Contracting work, which is what Zestyer does with its chefs, is very hard to do with minors, as miscellaneous documents would be needed like guardian consent, work hour limits, etc. We do not verify minors.

We will never verify anyone without going through the background check. We're are building a system that users can trust, and by making even one exception we undermine that trust.

Data & Data Storage

This section covers what every entry on the verification form is for, where it goes and who has access to it.

There are five types of 'buckets' that information is put in. The bucket determines who can have access to it. Each lower level may be accessible by an upper level, either by default or upon request i.e. level 4 means level 1, level 2, and level 3 can also access the information. When referring to Zestyer's main servers, we mean servers that are always on and are used to run the Zestyer app. If there was ever a breach or security flaw in the Zestyer app, hackers would likely only get to Zestyer's main servers. With that being said, Zestyer uses the most modern security standards. Verifying chefs is done by humans, manually. We can therefore move sensitive information off site and, in some cases, make it completely inaccessible by the main servers.

Level 1: Inaccessible to anyone from Zestyer. Not stored on Zestyer's main servers or servers accessible by Zestyer employees. Not at all and never will be accessible by code i.e. the website or apps. Accessible only by Stripe.

Level 2: Accessible to select employees of Zestyer. Not stored on Zestyer's main servers, but stored encrypted on servers accessible by select Zestyer employees. Not at all and never will be accessible by code i.e. the website or apps.

Currently, there are two Zestyer employees, Joe Huffman - head of development and Josh Paynen - head of support & design, who have access to level 2 data.

Level 3: Accessible to Zestyer employees. Not stored on Zestyer's main servers, but stored encrypted on servers accessible by Zestyer employees. Not at all and never will be accessible by code i.e. the website or apps. Access by Zestyer employees requires your consent and will be gotten when support is requested.

Level 4: Accessible to Zestyer employees. Stored on Zestyer's main servers. Can be accessed by code i.e. the website or apps. Your consent is not required for the information to be accessed or edited by Zestyer employees.

Level 5: Accessible to Zestyer users. Stored on Zestyer's main servers. Can be accessed by code i.e. the website or apps. Your consent is not required for the information to be accessed or edited by Zestyer employees. Circumstances for visibility to other users will be specified.

First Name: Level 5 - Circumstances when users can see this information is when they have ordered from you and you have confirmed the order.

Required by Stripe: to verify your ID. Required by Zestyer: to verify your ID and fill out your profile. Can be changed after you have been verified.

Last Name: Level 4

Required by Stripe: to verify your ID. Required by Zestyer: to verify your ID.

Date of Birth: Level 3

Required by Stripe: to verify your age. Required by Zestyer: to verify your age.

Social Security Number (SSN): Level 2

Used by Stripe: to verify your ID. Required by Zestyer: to run a background check.

Postal Code & Street Address: Level 5 - Circumstances when users can see this information is when they have ordered a pick up order from you, you have confirmed the order, and you have marked the order as ready so they need to come pick it up.

Used by Stripe: builds trust on your profile, so transactions are not blocked due to fraud concerns. Required by Zestyer: to fill out your profile.

Rest of Address: Level 5 - Circumstances when users can see this information is when they find your food. Zestyer is a localized marketplace, this is necessary for the right people to find your food.

Used by Stripe: builds trust on your profile, so transactions are not blocked due to fraud concerns. Required by Zestyer: to fill out your profile.

Photo ID: Level 2.

Used by Stripe: to verify your ID. Required by Zestyer: to run a background check.

Checking Account Number & Routing Number: Level 1

Required by Stripe: to payout earnings.

This is all very sensitive information, and we restrict our access as much as possible. However, we need to collect this information to create trustworthiness in you as well as Zestyer. When a diner orders, we want them to know we have done our due diligence. That starts with strict onboarding rules.

The Process

Zestyer verification starts by handing Stripe your information. This information is verified independently by Stripe. If Stripe cannot verify your identity they will not be able to pay you and you will be rejected.

Once Stripe has approved you, Zestyer support gets a notification. Support will email you asking for details about past experience and motivations. This is to give your chef profile a weighting and will not be used in an adverse hiring decision. Read more about how weighting affects search ranking here. Your information will be sent to a select employee of Zestyer, to manually review photo ID validity, age, name, and address. Pending successful review, a background check will be ordered. If our background check service cannot form a complete report, more information will be requested by the select member of Zestyer on your case.

Once all of your information, including the resulting background check, is approved, you will become a verified chef. You will get an email informing you about your successful verification. You may login and start selling and earning money by cooking from home!

If you are rejected at any step for any reason, you will be given the opportunity to reapply. You will also have access to the information which deemed you unfit for employment.

The whole process, from the time your chef application is submitted to the time you are approved, should take less than 7 days. It may take longer if there is a problem with your application. If you do not receive any sort of communication from Zestyer within 7 days of applying please contact support at support@zestyer.com.

More On Sensitive Information

Why do you need my Social Security number?

Stripe, our payment processor, is a company that collects and pays out funds. Any organization that sends funds to individuals, businesses, etc., is required by law to collect and verify information about the people who are paid. To perform this verification, Stripe needs to gather certain information so they can verify your identity. Stripe first attempts to verify you off of the minimum requested information (legal name, date of birth, and last 4 digits of your Social Security Number).

The same question on Stripe Support: Stripe Support

Zestyer needs your Social Security Number to order a background check. This is the standard identifier used to run a background check. Although some background checking companies may only require the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, we ask for the number in it's entirety.

Can I provide only the last 4 digits of my Social Security?

In the case that Stripe cannot verify your information, it will reject you and require your whole Social Security Number.

Zestyer does not use a company which requires only the last 4 digits of a Social Security Number for a background check. If we did, like with stripe, there could be mistakes and the verification process would be very slow.

By providing your whole Social Security Number upfront you are verified faster and your account is less likely to be denied by Stripe. The faster you are verified by Stripe, the faster we can order an accurate background check and the faster that background check could be delivered. This streamlined process allows us to approve chefs within a week's time.

I don't have a Social Security number, but I'd like to cook for Zestyer. What can I do?

Not a problem. Contact us at support@zestyer.com and we will see what we can do to get you onboarded. Please note, if you have a Social Security number and don't want to provide it, it could be considered fraud if we onboard you. Please do not contact us with such inquiries.

Why do I need to provide photos of my ID?

Both Stripe and Zestyer require a photo ID (a driver's license) because it's a common, government-backed document that verifies most of the information that is requested. Both Stripe and Zestyer use it to verify age and name.

So What Are You Waiting For?

Join hundreds of others who earn money by cooking! Have a question? Email us at support@zestyer.com or contact us through our social medias.

Chef Android App | | Chef iOS App

This is part 4 of the 6 part series Becoming A Chef. Read part 5 here.

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About the Author

Written by Lisa Dion - Director Of Marketing
Posted On
Posted In Chefs
Subtopic Becoming-A-Chef-Series

sensitive, data, security, why we collect, your information, becoming a chef series, order, food, earn, money, online, marketplace, app, zestier, zestyer

Keywords sensitive, data, security, why we collect, your information, becoming a chef series, order, food, earn, money, online, marketplace, app, zestier, zestyer

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