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The Cheesecake Factory's free cheesecake promotion backfired in a major way

A DoorDash driver was arrested as the chaos unfolded in one Virginia restaurant.
/ Source: TODAY

It's always fun to enjoy some free dessert on a birthday and The Cheesecake Factory celebrated its own major milestone on Wednesday with, of course, cheesecake.

To celebrate turning 40, the eatery promised that it would be giving away 40,000 free slices of cheesecake through the food delivery service DoorDash.

But, as is the case with many free food promotions (Starbucks' red cup disaster, anyone?), all did not go as planned — and one deliveryman was even arrested for allegedly fighting over cake.

As dozens of cheesecake-loving app users began placing orders, many commented that either the promo wasn't working, the service was not available in their area or it was just taking way, way too long for the free cake to arrive.

But the canceled orders were nothing compared to the chaos that ensued at one Cheesecake Factory location in Clarendon, Virginia.

According to ARL Now, dozens of DoorDash drivers started double parking outside the restaurant, creating major traffic snarls as they attempted to pick up customers' orders for free cheesecake. At about 1 p.m., the situation got so out of control that police were called to the scene. Inside the restaurant, a fight reportedly broke out among the many delivery drivers waiting and one man was arrested for disorderly conduct when he disobeyed a police officer's request to leave.

Others reported similar crowded scenes at various Cheesecake Factory restaurants as DoorDash workers tried to fulfill the influx of orders around lunchtime.

But even some people who actually did receive food were left disappointed:

Of course, there were a few people who eventually received their free dessert and were pretty happy when it arrived ... several hours later.

When reached via email, a representative for DoorDash provided the following statement to TODAY Food: “DoorDash was made aware of this incident, and we are cooperating with local law enforcement.” The company did not provide further comments about the other issues regarding the promotion.

However, the growing delivery service has been involved in quite a few fast food partnerships lately, from Burger King’s Whopper-flavored dog bones, to Chick-fil-A’s free chicken sandwich giveaway. Neither of those promotions resulted in the arrest of a DoorDash employee.