A free-cheesecake promotion at The Cheesecake Factory generated feverish interest Wednesday before turning sour when a fight apparently broke out at one location and other customers complained they couldn't get their orders.
The deal with DoorDash for free delivery of a slice of cheesecake inspired a mad dash of orders.
Police responded to reports of "a fight in progress" and "a large crowd" at the chain's location in Arlington, Virginia, around lunchtime Wednesday, Arlington Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage said.
When officers arrived, the apparent fight had subsided, but the crowd remained unruly.
"Officers addressed the crowd, got everyone under control," Savage said. "There was one subject inside who was acting disorderly. He was asked to leave the restaurant. He did not comply with the officer’s lawful commands."
That person was arrested and will be charged with disorderly conduct, she said. If anyone was injured, they had already left the scene by the time police arrived. The incident was first reported by ARLnow.com, a local news outlet in Arlington.
The chaos occurred after Cheesecake Factory hyped a 40th anniversary deal for a free piece of cheesecake if ordered for delivery through DoorDash. The deal also includes no-charge delivery on other orders through Dec. 11.
"No delivery fees, service fees or subtotal minimum required," DoorDash wrote in a blog post announcing the deal. "This means you don’t have to order anything and can still get your slice of cheesecake for free."
Giddy customers flooded the restaurant with orders, causing a large number of DoorDash delivery drivers to crowd into Cheesecake Factory lobbies, including the Arlington location.
But dozens of people said on social media that they had trouble with the DoorDash app, their restaurant was out of cheesecake or their location was not participating in the deal.
On Twitter, DoorDash apologized directly to some customers who complained of difficulty.
The company said on Twitter that "due to excess demand," Cheesecake Factory delivery was "currently unavailable in some areas."
Cheesecake Factory and DoorDash did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
On the bright side, some 40,000 customers got a free slice.
"Today I got a free cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and I’m so happy," one person said on Twitter.
Today I got a free cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and I’m so happy
— Sav (@SavannahRenee_0) December 5, 2018
Bruh they got all the door dashers in Columbus at the Cheesecake Factory 😂😂😂
— Enchantress (@Lola_Diorre) December 5, 2018
Hi @theevilbaker. I understand you wanted to place an order with The Cheesecake Factory. We apologize for the inconvenience. Due to excess demand, this store is currently unavailable in some areas.
— DoorDash Help (@DoorDash_Help) December 5, 2018
— alex. (@alexxdaniellee_) December 5, 2018
@DoorDash SUCKS I will never use them again! Ordered lunch at 11:37 and it hasn’t arrived iHave a 3pm flight & had to hop in @Uber iTried #DoorDash cause of @Cheesecake factory promo - so wanted the cheesecake😢 pic.twitter.com/2NPA1Vw5EG
— Sharyn Bovat (@sharynbovat) December 5, 2018
Contributing: Kelly Tyko
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fight breaks out at Cheesecake Factory over free cheesecake offer