The Cheesecake Factory’s free dessert promotion didn’t go exactly as planned. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the chain, in partnership with DoorDash, announced it would give away 40,000 slices of free cheesecake via delivery starting on Wednesday, December 5, at 11:30 a.m. local time, but consumers were a bit more psyched by the prospect of free cake than expected.
Since DoorDash was flooded with orders, a Cheesecake Factory outpost in Arlington, Virginia, faced an unruly crowd of delivery drivers inside the restaurant, trying to pick up orders, and several double-parked cars in the area that created chaos. In fact, the demand for a free sweet treat was so great that a man was arrested after getting into a brawl in pursuit of the freebie.
According to a local outlet, an Arlington County police spokesperson confirmed officers were dispatched to bring order and “calm the situation down” after one person refused police commands to leave the restaurant and a struggle with officers ensued. That person, who has not been identified, was subsequently arrested and is expected to be charged with disorderly conduct.
Arrests aside, dozens of other Cheesecake Factory customers were less than impressed with the chain’s unorganized promotion, and many took to social media to share their spirited complaints. Several noted long lines and problems with the app, while others were able to score free cake. Take a look at a handful of reactions below:
@DoorDash_Help I tried to get my free slice of cheesecake, and it’s telling me that the promotion I’m trying to redeem is not valid at the store I chose.. is it all Cheesecake Factory restaurants or just certain ones?
— Daniel Kamovitch (@DJKamovitch) December 5, 2018
— Vanessa (@prettylightz) December 5, 2018
Mobs of #DoorDashers wait for hours to deliver free cheesecake as part of a @Cheesecake Factory & @DoorDash #freecheesecake promo. Not sure what kind of planning went into this but the organization & execution can be safely labeled as a complete clusterf*. All parties unhappy. pic.twitter.com/8wK0WuTUXr
— k-lala (@mybestestme) December 5, 2018
I may have run out of a meeting to get my free Cheesecake Factory today. Worth it! pic.twitter.com/8tVe10SC49
— Anthony Cargile (@AnthonyCargile) December 5, 2018
@DoorDash @ARLnowDOTcom@Cheesecake @washingtonpost@dcexaminer avoid this place like a plague. Over 2hrs wait to pickup a free 🧀🍰. Fight broke out,ppl getting ticketed n arrested. Of course ppl got impatient after a long time. Very disorganized n total chaos. pic.twitter.com/uJznxDHg23
— p p (@pat_patsy_cake) December 5, 2018
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