Word that the four-hour wait at flaming-hot LA sushi import Sugarfish can be skipped with delivery was welcome news, but alas, it turns out the sushi gods only give with one hand. Last week, demand for Sugarfish delivery was so high that delivery service DoorDash had to cancel a bunch of orders.
When Eater tried to order on Thursday, we didn’t get a call until more than an hour after the order was placed, with DoorDash claiming that the kitchen no longer had the capacity to make the sushi. New York resident Sarah Williamson tweeted about a Sugarfish issue and tells Eater that she also tried to order on Thursday but was not informed until two hours later that the restaurant couldn’t fulfill purchase. The cancellation came after DoorDash had already told her that her sushi order was in progress. “It was brutal,” Williamson says.
A spokesman from DoorDash explains that they help restaurants plan for delivery by looking at past performance, but last week, the delivery service received more than three times the number of orders from the previous week. The kitchen at Sugarfish, which only has one location in New York, wasn’t able to handle it.
“We're working closely with Sugarfish to ensure they have enough capacity for these orders moving forward and that when they get backed up we temporarily pause deliveries so we don't have to cancel orders that were already placed,” writes spokesman Eitan Bencuya.
Orders partly skyrocketed last week after DoorDash sent an email out to its users offering free delivery as a promotion for the launch of Sugarfish delivery in New York. The email said “no line, no problem.”
Delivery service PostMates is also offering Sugarfish delivery. Representatives with PostMates and
Sugarfish did not immediately respond to request for comment. See update.
Williamson has had Sugarfish in the Los Angeles area and found the experience “lovely,” but after her delivery experience last week, she has no plans to try the New York location any time soon. She’s also deleted her DoorDash app, calling the whole thing “an epic fail.”
Some people within the 1.5-mile delivery radius of Sugarfish have in fact managed to receive their orders since the launch. But fair warning if you try to order — it might not be a sure thing.
Update: In a statement, the Sugarfish team notes they prioritize the diners in the restaurant, so they stop taking delivery orders when they think the quality of the dine-in food is at risk. The team also said that they’re not the ones canceling the orders — the delivery services are.
Our intention was always to provide the to-go offering for those who are constrained by time and not as a substitute for a dine-in experience.
The quality of our guests dine-in experience is first and foremost our priority and we have intentionally delayed the launch of our to-go offering to make sure we can deliver the highest quality food without effecting our dine-in guests.
In order not to disappoint our guests, we stop taking orders when we know we know cannot fulfill the order with the same quality food as our dine-in guest in a timely fashion .
It’s important for us to point out that we do not “cancel” orders. We simply “stop taking orders” when we reach a certain capacity. The “cancellation” is a function of the delay between delivery services like Postmates or Doordash — they accept the order before placing it. Therefore, they end up canceling it when we do not accept it. If you order for pick up from our website, when we stop accepting order is immediate.