Screenshots from TikTok show all the free pizza chaos.
An ongoing Domino’s free pizza promo turned into chaos as people walked out of stores with multiple pizzas that didn’t cost them anything due to an exploitable glitch that got spread around on social media. At least one manager, amid the free pizza chaos, reportedly texted a Domino’s employee: “Don’t make any free pizzas. Cancel them. As soon as one pops on the screen check and see if it’s a free emergency pizza. If it is cancel it ASAP.”
In early October, Domino’s Pizza launched a new promo called the “Emergency Pizza” program. Folks who ordered a qualifying pizza from the company would receive a code that could be used for one free medium pizza at a later date. A backup, “emergency” pizza, if you will. The promo, like most other fast food promotional events, went under the radar for most folks and was working fine until this week. That’s when things went wrong.
Kotaku has contacted Domino’s about the glitched orders.
Once the free pizza codes were shared on TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, the floodgates opened and stores were reportedly inundated with people trying to order 10, 20, or even 30 pizzas at a time. Videos show some stores with long lines filled with customers trying to get free pizza.
“58 pizzas and all are carryout and some are…the same person,” explained one employee on Reddit. “Like, one guy had 10 pizzas and another person had 8 pizzas. Damn those people that took advantage of the system. But hey one of the free bastards gave me a 20-dollar tip. So I guess worth it, somewhat.”
“My store ended up selling 170 medium pizzas in an hour and a half,” posted another user.
“We ended up giving away 77 of them before it got fixed,” claimed one employee.
“ONE GUY ALONE placed 24 orders over the next 5 or so days for these free pizzas,” said another staff member.
Quickly, stores were overloaded with free pizza orders as people abused the system and the glitched codes being shared online. While some greedy pizza lovers were trying to walk out of Domino’s with a dozen pizzas or more, others were going a different route and using the broken codes to schedule multiple, free pizza deliveries for weeks.
“I looked in the system last night, like a hundred timed orders stretching out weeks for free pizza,” posted one supposed Domino’s staff member. “Once I saw all the duplicates on the line today, I looked up order history, then searched online, and had to step off to call the district manager.”
Eventually, during the worst of the free pizza apocalypse, things got so bad that managers reportedly began panic-messaging employees at local stores around the country, telling them to stop making free pizzas and to cancel those orders immediately. Some employees, fed up with angry customers coming in and yelling about their free pizzas not being ready, posted how happy they were to cancel all these glitched orders. Other employees claimed that their stores actually honored the deal. Throughout it all, it seemed Domino’s corporate higher-ups didn’t have much support or guidance to provide overworked and frustrated employees. (Based on posts on the Domino’s subreddit, this is common behavior from the national pizza chain.)
One employee told me via Reddit DMs that even at their smaller store they were swamped with free orders, leading to cancellations.
“Anytime an order would come in, we would have to call customers and let them know that we couldn’t do their order,” the Domino’s employee explained. “I think most people knew they shouldn’t have exploited the code, so I personally had nobody too [upset about] their order being canceled.”
As for whether corporate got involved to help, I was told that they likely only talked to district managers, who then spread the news around to others. However, the employee I spoke with made it clear that during the free pizza debacle, staff received no explanation from higher-ups. Instead, employees shared information via the subreddit and group chats. One manager even reportedly pinged an employee asking them for updates on the situation from that subreddit as they knew the staff member was active on the site.
Other posts claimed corporate did contact some bigger stores, asked places to cancel orders, and promised to pay back the owners for all the free pizzas. But that wasn’t the case everywhere, leading to confusion.
Today, after the parmesan dust has settled, staff seem confused as to why Domino’s even ran a promo like this and why the company didn’t do more when it became clear that a glitch was causing people to walk away with stacks of free pizza pies.
“Domino’s is an awful company that is bad at basically everything,” posted one employee when asked why this promo even happened. “They don’t know how to increase business because they don’t understand what the problems are.”
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