The Cheesecake Factory is 40 years old and to celebrate this significant milestone, it announced it would be giving out 40,000 free slices across its locations on Wednesday. But chaos ensued when the promotion proved to be more popular than anticipated, ARL Now reports.
The promotion promised a free slice of cheesecake to anyone ordering delivery through DoorDash, and it started at 11:30 a.m. at locations nationwide. The deal also included no-charge delivery on other orders through Dec. 11th.
"No delivery fees, service fees or subtotal minimum required," DoorDash wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. This meant that customers did not have to order anything and they could still get their slice of cheesecake for free.
Within only two hours, all free slices had been ordered, leading some disappointed respondents to take to social media to complain that they were not able to get their hands on a piece of cheesecake, while others were unhappy that their order arrived hours late.
@DoorDash Had 6 orders in my office. 2 of them made it 2 hours late. 1 couldn't find the location and order was cancelled since they had to go to a meeting (1 hour after expected delivery). Mine was cancelled. Last 2 still hadn't arrived 5 hours after ordering when I left work.— John Smith (@TGSAJO) December 6, 2018
The promotion also brought crowds of DoorDash delivery drivers to restaurants, disrupting business. Some locations saw drivers double parking their vehicles so they could enter the restaurant and pick up their orders.
In one instance, police were called to a Cheesecake Factory in Arlington County, Virginia, after a fight broke out while drivers were picking up orders. While there was no active fight in progress when officers arrived, one person refused to listen to police commands and was arrested on disorderly conduct charges, according to ARLNow.
@DoorDash @ARLnowDOTcom @Cheesecake @washingtonpost @dcexaminer over 2hrs wait for delivery drivers,cars got ticketed,ppl got arrested n profanities thrown at the poor employees. Not worth getting injured over $6,jerks. pic.twitter.com/QovOL76QjX— p p (@pat_patsy_cake) December 5, 2018
"DoorDash was made aware of this incident, and we are cooperating with local law enforcement," DoorDash told CNBC.
"Our Day of 40,000 Slices promotion had such a tremendous response from our guests that we extended it and delivered more than 60,000 complimentary slices," a spokeswoman for Cheesecake Factory told CNBC. "We were truly humbled by the popularity of the offer and by how quickly our fans responded as all of the 60,000 complimentary slices were ordered within an hour of the promotion's start time."
The company also took to Twitter to announce that due to excess demand, Cheesecake Factory delivery was unavailable in certain areas.
Today I got a free cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and I’m so happy— Sav (@SavannahRenee_0) December 5, 2018
On the bright side, some 40,000 lucky customers got to enjoy a free slice of much-coveted cheesecake and were happy to share their satisfaction on twitter.