Cheesecake Factory's Free Slice Promotion Results in Complete Chaos

One arrest ensued after "one ambulance, fire chief vehicle, and a dozen cruisers" showed up at the Arlington, Virginia location.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
December 5, 2018, 10:30pm
Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

For a one-day promotion in honor of its 40th anniversary, the Cheesecake Factory gave away 40,000 slices of free cheesecake. Sadly, if you're reading this, you’re too late.

The deal, which was a collaboration with delivery service DoorDash, yielded actual free cheesecake: all delivery fees, service fees, and ordering minimums were waived, according to Thrillist. Of course, an added upside to this is that one slice of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory is basically three slices at more modest establishments.


So as you can probably expect, people went batshit.

The barrage of orders sent a deluge of delivery drivers to Cheesecake Factory locations nationwide. Given the lack of cheesecake-related crime stories throughout most of the country, it seems that this process went smoothly in most places, save for some technical difficulties.

However, in Arlington, Virginia, one person has been arrested for taking part in cheesecake-inspired chaos at the chain’s location on Clarendon Boulevard. Local news site ARLnow has reported a scene that was “a little hectic,” according to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. One Twitter user reported seeing "one ambulance, fire chief vehicle, and a dozen cruisers."

Images and video have since been posted on Twitter by a user who was at the Clarendon location doing a pick-up for DoorDash. According to the Twitter user, who also described the scene as "chaos," delivery drivers had to wait for over two hours, during which cars were ticketed and profanities were "thrown at the poor employees." The video shows officers handcuffing one person.

According to ARLnow, police were first called to the restaurant due to the formation of an “unruly crowd of delivery drivers” and a “rash of double parking." A later dispatch was sent because of a fight, though this had ended by the time officers arrived.

Savage apparently told ARLnow that the person in question was arrested for refusing to leave the restaurant and struggling with police officers. The person, who has requested to be evaluated for possible injuries at a nearby hospital, may be charged with disorderly conduct. "DoorDash was made aware of this incident, and we are cooperating with local law enforcement," a DoorDash spokesperson told MUNCHIES in an email.

Free—or even cheap—cheesecake may bring out the worst in people. Byron Tau, a reporter at the Washington Post who worked at the chain for three years, wrote in a tweet, "The craziest day of my life was when the Cheesecake Factory I worked at ran a 50 cent slice promotion." And that's despite having covered actual riots.

Yes, dessert is good, and yes, all food tastes better when it's free. But come on, people, is getting arrested over cheesecake really worth it???