Taco Bell’s free taco giveaway may have proved to be too popular for the fast-food chain’s website and mobile app.
Similar to what has happened when other restaurants give away free food, including Chipotle, the website and app were down for many users, according to social media reports.
At 9 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Taco Bell’s website displayed this message: “WE ARE EXPERIENCING HIGHER THAN NORMAL TRAFFIC.”
Around 9:20 p.m., the message was removed and the website looked like it was allowing online orders.
Tuesday’s giveaway was for its “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion, which awarded free Doritos Locos Tacos to consumers because the Golden State Warriors stole a road win in the second game of the 2019 NBA finals.
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From 2 to 6 p.m. local time, consumers could walk in and get the freebie, but had more time to take advantage of the deal if they ordered from the Taco Bell mobile app or website.
Taco Bell’s technical difficulties come days after Target’s registers went down nationwide and on the same day as a Google Calendar outage.
“Clearly the only thing people love more than tacos are free Doritos Locos Tacos,” Taco Bell said in a statement to USA TODAY. “Our fans’ overwhelming excitement caused delays in our online redemptions, so we’re working quickly to ensure those fans impacted get the free tacos we promised.”
Social media comments
“Online ordering haven’t been working, and I’m hungry, so looks like I’m going to @Wendys,” Twitter user @pmunoz50 wrote.
“I just tried to get the free taco for lunch, and your iOS app was a complete failure. Everything was loading so slowly if at all, and I couldn’t even get the checkout to go through. Don’t bother with these app promotions, if it can’t handle the user traffic. @tacobellcare,” Twitter user @rybo213 tweeted.
“This is great and all, too bad you can’t even order on the app or website. Won’t take the price of the taco off on the app. So that’s fun, a free $2 taco really isn’t worth this much hassle,” @Ziggy4532 wrote.
Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko