Grubhub's Free Lunch Resulted in a Lot of Hangry New Yorkers and Overwhelmed Restaurants

Photo: Grubhub

Don't mess with New Yorkers and their free food. Grubhub's latest promotion on May 17 gave residents of New York City free lunch in lieu of majority of the city skipping lunch due to busy schedules.


The news of free lunch spread so fast that at one point, the food service delivery platform was receiving 6,000 orders per minute! That's a lot of hangry New Yorkers.

The response to the deal was so overwhelmingly positive that many people did not receive their lunch at all because local restaurants couldn't keep up with the influx of orders. Fans and employees took to social to share their reactions and it was not pleasant, calling the campaign, a "shitshow," and showing what the campaign was really like behind restaurant doors.


Local restaurant employees in New York at Greenberg’s Bagels, Dan and John's Wings and Han Dynasty said they were not informed that Grubhub was going to offer free meals and therefore they were not staffed appropriately to handle the orders.

Since the disaster, Grubhub has initiated an apology saying, "Our goal was not to slam the restaurants yesterday and get them completely inundated the way it was," said Dave Tovar, senior vice president of communications and government relations at Grubhub who told The Washington Post on Wednesday. "For that, we are communicating back to restaurants today, to make sure that they hear from us, and take an opportunity to apologize for any unintended consequences."

We get it Grubhub, you were trying to give New Yorkers what they want, free food, but it didn't work out as expected.