The Cheesecake Factory's free cheesecake deal ends in chaos, furious customers, and reports of battling delivery people

Kate Taylor
Cheesecake Factory


  • The Cheesecake Factory debuted a deal to give away 40,000 cheesecakes via DoorDash on Wednesday.
  • The cheesecakes had already sold out at many locations as of 2 p.m. EST, sparking backlash from angry customers who did not order in time. 
  • Stores have been crowded with DoorDash drivers, with one location in Arlington County, Virginia, reportedly calling the police to get the hectic scene under control following an alleged fight between delivery people. 
  • One man was arrested in the aftermath of the hectic event and will be charged with disorderly conduct, The Washington Post reported.

The Cheesecake Factory's free cheesecake deal proved to be monumentally popular. But, the popularity created some issues for the cheesecake chain and the delivery service DoorDash.

On Wednesday, The Cheesecake Factory launched a promotion to give away 40,000 free cheesecakes. All customers had to do was order using DoorDash. 

After the deal kicked off at 11:30 a.m., the orders came flooding in. People posted celebratory pictures of their cheesecake on social media and happily dug into their free treats. 

Then, the cheesecakes started to run out. At 1:18 p.m. EST, DoorDash posted on Twitter that all of the cheesecakes on the East Coast had been claimed. 

Some customers were unhappy to have missed out on the chance to get free cheesecakes. 

"The lies they tell about the free cheesecake I download the ap and they said this area isn’t honoring it smh," one person commented on The Cheesecake Factory's Facebook page. 

Tweet Embed:
@Cheesecake now when I want to take advantage of your promotion for free cheesecake, it says currently unavailable on door dash!! I don’t get it.. your stores should be prepared for demand when you have a promotion like this.. very unfair of Cheesecake Factory Tweet Embed:
So I went to go order a cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory for the free thing today and MY CLOSEST ONE IS CLOSED BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE ALREADY ORDERED so they closed it to give others in the US a chance to get some 🙄 cry me a River Tweet Embed:
@DoorDash Trying to get my free cheesecake from @Cheesecake and online it says delivery is unavailable to 66211. Cheesecake Factory is right across the street. What’s going on?? Tweet Embed:
#cheesecakefactory#doordash So this happened 😕

Additionally, the deal created issues in at least some stores.

People visiting Cheesecake Factory locations reported that stores were crowded with DoorDash delivery people. 

Tweet Embed:
I feel bad for anyone planning on ordering lunch through doordash. All of the deliverers are at Cheesecake Factory handling their free cheesecake slice deal. Tweet Embed:
ALSO I am aware that @DoorDash is not to blame here, because the poor guy has been sitting at @Cheesecake lobby since 12p! Cheesecake Factory is putting their in-house guests before their DoorDash customers and THAT IS JUST WRONG! -Hangry Tweet Embed:
•My DoorDash guy said Cheesecake Factory is SUPER PACKED and the workers are PISSED. lol

A Cheesecake Factory in Arlington County, Virginia, faced chaos severe enough to required police intervention, reported.

According to the local news station, police and medics responded to get the crowds under control as DoorDash delivery people flooded The Cheesecake Factory location. Police were called after a fight reportedly broke out in the restaurant. They arrived to discover "an unruly crowd of delivery drivers inside the restaurant, trying to pick up orders, and a rash of double parking around the Clarendon area," though there was not a fight going on at the time.

One man was arrested in the aftermath of the hectic event and will be charged with disorderly conduct, The Washington Post reported. The man reportedly refused police orders to leave the restaurant, instead requesting further medical treatment after being cleared by medics. He was taken to a hospital. 

Cheesecake Factory told Business Insider on Wednesday that it ended up giving away more free cheesecakes than originally planned. 

"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," the Cheesecake Factory's senior director of public relations, Alethea Rowe, said in an email.

"We were truly humbled by the popularity of the offer and by how quickly our fans responded!" Rowe continued. 

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