If someone orders a lot of food, lets say over $500 worth of food. Then when the food arrives, the person denies ordering it (they used an email which to order it which is anonymous) and say they do not want the food. Do they still have an obligation to pay for the food? This is taking place in the Netherlands
That is illegal.
I don't think it would be theft, as it sounds like the person ordering hadn't actually taken control or possession of anything not belonging to him. But I could still imagine a variety of other laws imposing criminal penalties, such as a criminal mischief statute or something like that.
Using a fake email address and denying it would probably make it harder to get caught, but it wouldn't make the transaction any more legal -- if anything, I'd expect it to make it more illegal, because now you're seeming to get more into fraud territory.
This is based on U.S. law, but I'd imagine there are analogues in the law over there as well.
If they really ordered it, they entered into a contract, and you have a claim against them for damages suffered because the contract was breached.
This would be a civil claim, not a criminal claim, in the Netherlands.
However, if you're delivering an order that was sent anonymously, you have no way to prove that the person at the door is the one who ordered the food - and the onus would be on your to prove that it was.
It could become a criminal act under a number of laws ("oplichting", "fraude", etc.) if intent can be proven but that's not easy - and you first have to get the police/public prosecutor interested in the case.
It's quite comparable to someone ordering in a restaurant and not paying the bill, which is notoriously hard to prosecute criminally in the Netherlands. (Search for "eetpiraat" - dinner pirates) As a restaurant, you usually can only try to enforce a civil claim through the civil courts.
Of course they do
By ordering the food they entered into a contract where the provider would deliver the food and they would pay for it.
Such an act would be basically unprovable, due to the anonymity of email.
I suspect the first thing the seller of the food would do is blacklist that house. Too bad if they weren't the one who placed the order. Especially if it happened more than once.
Afterwards, they might restrict what orders could be placed via email in general. Or for orders of a certain value (or any order if they're feeling paranoid) requires a mobile number. They could then call this mobile number to confirm the order. After confirmation in this way, if deny the order at the door, they at least have something to trace.
In Australia, all purchases are protected by the ACCC, so if the food arrived in poor condition, or differed significantly from what was advertised, then they would have the power to refuse to pay. Naturally, if they did this they would also void their right to the food. But if the food was delivered in an acceptable condition and matched (at least mostly) what was on the order, then none of those rights would apply. Perhaps the Netherlands have something similar?