May 17, 2022 - Economy & Business

Grubhub free lunch promo leaves some New Yorkers hungry

Grubhub photo food, cups
Grubhub had a free lunch promotion May 17 in New York City but it led to long wait times for orders. Photo: Grubhub

Grubhub planned to treat New Yorkers to a free meal Tuesday with a three-hour lunch promotion that was designed to take $15 off orders.

Yes, but: The demand exceeded the delivery service's expectations, Grubhub spokesperson Christopher Krautler said in a statement to Axios, noting there was an average of 6,000 orders per minute and "redemptions were six times higher than a similar promotion."

What they’re saying: “The initial demand temporarily overwhelmed our app, causing some diners to experience an error message when they used their promo code,” Krautler said. “However, this was quickly rectified and we were able to successfully fulfill more than 400,000 free lunch orders.”

Some Twitter users reported restaurants were pausing delivery or saying they were closed because of the high volume of orders.

What's next: Grubhub is offering $5 off a $15 order before tax, tip and fees in New York City and surrounding areas through May 31 with promo code 5OFFNYC. The code can be used three times per user at Grubhub or Seamless.

Our thought bubble: Free food giveaways and popular food deals often end in disappointment or long waits at the very least. You may want to plan for an alternative meal.

Go deeper