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The Houston Launch of David Chang’s Delivery-Only Restaurant Fuku Was a Total Shitshow

Chicken sandwich fans faced three hour waits, missing orders, and more delivery app drama on Fuku’s launch day

A chicken sandwich on potato roll bun with red sauce and pickles
It would appear that the New York City based chicken restaurant over-promised and under-delivered
Fuku/Facebook

The Tuesday launch of chef David Chang’s fried chicken chain Fuku in Texas appears to have been an absolute mess, with dozens of comments on various social media channels citing delayed orders, cold food, maskless food service workers and other issues with the new delivery-only restaurant.

The trouble started in the morning on Tuesday, April 6, when the restaurant, which was supposed to launch at 11 a.m. in Houston, was unavailable on several delivery apps, including DoorDash, Grubhub, and UberEats, according to posts on Facebook. Once it finally appeared, diners reported orders taking anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours for delivery. One Twitter user said that their food arrived three hours late, with missing items and cold food. A commenter on Instagram said their order included just four fries and was missing the sauce the diner paid extra for.

That’s if the food arrived at all. Several commenters posted that their delivery drivers cancelled their orders after waiting several hours. One person wrote that their order from UberEats never arrived, and another wrote their their order did eventually arrive — a day late.

Scope out more comments on this post from the chain on Instagram below:

By Wednesday afternoon, commenters on Fuku’s Instagram page were reporting to each other that the Houston location had already closed — with no response whatsoever from Fuku itself. It’s unclear if the location sold out or was just too overwhelmed by the hype to continue taking orders. Eater has reached out to the company for comment, and will update this post with more details as they become available.

Though Houston posters were most vocal about their negative experiences, diners in Dallas also faced issues. One Dallas diner wrote that their chicken sandwich arrived raw, and another wrote that employees at the North Texas location weren’t wearing masks “even though the website for Fuku is all about safety.”

In response to the complaints, Fuku CEO Alex Munoz-Suarez provided the following statement to Eater:

We’re incredibly grateful for the overwhelming response from our fans in Dallas and Houston and are so sorry for the delivery challenges they’ve experienced. Order volumes at REEF vessels were significantly greater than anticipated, but we’re working diligently with REEF’s team to keep up with demand on delivery platforms, reduce wait times, and deliver the best possible guest experience.

To make up for the initial challenges, we are personally reaching out to each guest who contacted us to find an appropriate resolution. In regard to the masks, we’re taking this very seriously and are working closely with the operations team at REEF to ensure that they are meeting our safety standards. It’s unacceptable and we are making sure it does not happen again.

Fuku’s famed chicken sandwiches got their start as an off-menu offering at Chang’s beloved restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar. When the sandwich proved to be popular in its own right, Chang launched a stand-alone Fuku restaurant in New York City in 2015. Fuku has since grown into a chain of mostly delivery-only restaurants in cities like Miami, Washington, D.C., and now, Texas.

The proceeds from the Houston location’s first day of sales were meant to be donated to the Southern Smoke Foundation. “Food arrived cold,” wrote one commenter on Instagram “I’m glad the money is going to Southern Smoke at least.”

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

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