Grubhub ‘free lunch’ turns into an NYC food fiasco


Grubhub’s absolutely free-lunch initiative in New York on Tuesday afternoon still left buyers fed up — and complaining on social media about its failure to provide. 

“I was genuinely irritated because I was hungry and I needed my meals,” Ryan Melendez, 28, advised The Article of his nightmarish endeavor to rating complimentary fare through the digital foodstuff supply company.

The internet marketing expert, who works in Soho, was a single of the 400,000 eaters who tried to take advantage of the on the internet marketplace’s $15 discount with the promo code “FREELUNCH” for orders placed involving the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Might 17.

Diners were only economically accountable for “any relevant tax, charges and optional idea,” per Grubhub.

GrubHub's free lunch promo deal left a number of New Yorkers without food for the day.
Grubhub’s free of charge-lunch promo offer still left a amount of New Yorkers with out food for the day.

But the promotion didn’t go as planned — with the deluge of people crashing the program and widespread experiences of undelivered food stuff.

In some situations, popular lunch spots were so slammed they have been pressured to terminate orders. In some others, the food stuff hardly ever manufactured it to its supposed vacation spot owing to massively slowed shipping and delivery speeds. 

A trending TikTok with far more than 110,000 sights featured scenes from a regional Just Salad, wherever staff have been finally compelled to toss out hundreds of bagged lunch orders that couldn’t be distributed on time. 

Ryan Melendez
Ryan Melendez explained to The Publish he experimented with to get edge of the Grubhub advertising but that his buy was eventually canceled.
Ryan Melendez

Right after acquiring a collection of “error” messages when attempting to use the password on the app for a platter of rotisserie rooster, beans and rice from Sophie’s Cuban Delicacies in Manhattan’s Fiscal District, Melendez’s buy at last went by means of at 11:30 a.m.

Relieved, he compensated a whole $6 in tax and gratuity — then waited for far more than two several hours for a dish that would by no means come. 

“Around 2 p.m. I identified as Grubhub, and I was on hold for about 20 minutes before I was connected with a consultant, who eventually experienced to cancel the get due to the fact the cafe hadn’t sent the food stuff,” explained Melendez, who commutes into Manhattan from Jersey Town.

“But by the time the rep cancelled the buy, the promotion had finished, so I completely missed out on the discounted,” he claimed.

The company refunded Melendez his $6 payment and gave him a 40% coupon for his upcoming obtain. 

Social media cynics accuse GrubHub of failing to properly notify New York City restaurants about its free lunch endeavor.
Social media cynics accuse Grubhub of failing to adequately notify New York Metropolis dining establishments about its absolutely free-lunch endeavor.
SOPA Pictures/LightRocket by way of Gett

Grubhub did not answer to The Post’s ask for for a comment. However, on Twitter, it wrote: “To support corporations prepare for today’s advertising, we delivered advance discover to our restaurant community.” (One particular ticked-off Twitter person, whose tweet raked in a lot more than 108,000 likes, alleged the business “didn’t notify eating places & shipping and delivery personnel they were being executing this.”)

“Additionally, given the expected need, we elevated driver incentives,” Grubhub extra. “We are grateful for the extraordinary work they set forth now and are performing to handle any fears they may well have and enhance for future delivers.”

A spokesperson for the application launched a statement to Eater on Tuesday, noting: “During the cost-free lunch promotional period of time redemptions were being 6 periods larger than a comparable promotion we launched in 2021, and at situations we ended up averaging six thousand orders for every minute.”

bags of food
A trending TikTok with additional than 110,000 views highlighted scenes from a nearby Just Salad, where by workforce have been in the end forced to toss out hundreds of bagged lunch orders that couldn’t be dispersed on time. 

Melendez, who’s been a joyful patron of Grubhub for extra than five decades, implies that the shipping and delivery company contemplate extending its generosity over and above a limited two-hour window in the foreseeable future. 

“Next time they really should operate the promotion for the full working day,” he reported. “That way there will not be a ton of folks flooding the eating places at when, absolutely everyone can utilize the price cut and no 1 goes hungry.”


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