Grubhub’s idea was ambitious: on Tuesday, during lunch hours, it will feed everybody in New York City and the neighboring Tri-State area for free.

According to a poll performed by the site, 69 percent of working New Yorkers indicated they had missed lunch. But, once Grubhub’s platform collapsed as New Yorkers hurried to place orders, that’s precisely what the experiment accomplished. Restaurants were overloaded, delivery workers were upset, and many customers were left hungry. According to Christopher Krautler, a Grubhub spokeswoman, the site was averaging 6,000 orders per minute, which “completely blew beyond any expectations.”

GrubHub Workers Were Exhausted

The demand “at first created a slight delay in our system, and some consumers got an error code with their ticket, but that was immediately remedied,” according to Krautler, who added that the site completed over 450,000 lunch orders related to the campaign.

However, several customers never received their meal after paying for it, leaving them hungry and waiting in line despite the app’s claims that it would arrive shortly.

Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., the app offered $15 off any order placed in the New York City region. Restaurants throughout the city were packed. It was a “shitshow,” according to Fee Bakhtiar, general manager of Jajaja Mexicana in the West Village. When she entered the eatery at 11.30 a.m., she was surprised to see 40 Grubhub orders already in line.

According to Bakhtiar, Jajaja West Village, which specializes in takeaway, was able to complete all of its Grubhub orders, which vanished at 2 p.m. She told the Guardian that neither she nor the other managers at Jajaja’s New York locations got an email or a cellphone message from the platform informing them of the impending promotion.