Cheesecake Factory promotion backfires as demand outstrips supply

The company partnered with delivery service DoorDash to offer free slices to customers. However, the event broke down in chaos amidst reports of delivery drivers fighting it out.

For some organizations, free giveaways can be too much of a good thing.

The Cheesecake Factory offered consumers a free slice of their eponymous dessert through a delivery service called DoorDash to celebrate its 40th birthday. However, the promotion was so popular that supplies quickly ran out and jilted customers voiced dissatisfaction on social media.

The company announced the promotion on Twitter:

However, supplies quickly ran low.

Business Insider reported:

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.

Consumers took to social media to try to find new slices and to vent their frustration:

One Cheesecake Factory location had to call the police.

Business Insider continued:

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

Both DoorDash and The Cheesecake Factory remain tight-lipped about the fiasco, with DoorDash providing a short statement.

The New York Post reported:

A spokesperson for DoorDash says the food delivery company is aware of the incident and cooperating with local law enforcement.

One individual refused police commands to leave the restaurant and resisted efforts at removal. Savage says the individual requested medical attention after the altercation and was taken to a hospital.

The promotion is another reminder for brand managers to be prepared to handle the large demand for exciting offerings. It was a lesson McDonald’s learned with its ‘ Rick and Morty’ promotion.

When customers did get their cheesecake, they seemed to think it was worth the wait.

However, drivers did not take it lightly that their time wasn’t respected:

DoorDash, for its part, praised the drivers on its Twitter feed:

How would you advise The Cheesecake Factory and DoorDash to respond, PR Daily readers?

(Image via)

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