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Free Cheesecake Giveaway at Cheesecake Factory Turns into Chaos

The celebration of The Cheesecake Factory's 40th anniversary was more than anyone bargained for.
Free Cheesecake Giveaway at Cheesecake Factory Turns into Chaos

The town of Arlington, Virginia, may be a place rich in military history—after all, it sits right across the Potomac from our nation’s capital, and it’s home to a Civil War battle and the Arlington National Cemetery—but on Wednesday it became known, at least temporarily, for an entirely new skirmish. It hosted the Battle of the Cheesecake.

In order to celebrate its 40th anniversary, everyone’s favorite chain with a phone-book-sized menu, the Cheesecake Factory, decided to offer up 40,000 free slices to customers of the food delivery service DoorDash. Using a certain promo code at the Cheesecake Factory’s checkout counter (“FREESLICE”), those eager customers could walk away with a slice of cake for nothing that would otherwise cost them roughly $7 or $12.

If the chain was expecting a tepid turnout, they were in for a rude awakening. Soon, a hoard of cheesecake lovers desperate for a free slice began to form around the store, and it only got crazier from there.

It wasn’t long before it turned into a mob scene, and at least one fight broke out. According to local media, the police and medics were called. One person, apparently, was even arrested.

“Officers addressed the crowd, got everyone under control,” Arlington Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told USA Today. “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.”

Even for those who weren’t arrested, the wait was painful, as many stood in line for three hours or more to get their slice.

We’re here with a gentle reminder that, as delicious as cheesecake is, it’s probably not worth risking your life for.

If you’re really obsessed and want to head there yourself (minus all the chaos), check out the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Cheesecake Factory and see how you can make the most of every visit.

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