Don't miss out on free food! - Restaurant rewards programs
Updated: Jun 17
If you frequently visit any of the following places, download the app on your phone and join the rewards program:
Perks often include free stuff on your birthday, exclusive deals and bonuses that can really add up. Some of my favorites listed below, but there are many more that may be more valuable to you.
I will warn you that these apps are designed to get you to buy more, eat more, drink more, and more often! So, always remember that you can make your own coffee, burger, or sandwich at home for far less than a restaurant will charge you. Although, you will occasionally find a deal that does beat home cooking like a $2 Whopper!
One last point is that, generally speaking, the deals are only good for one person, or one coupon per visit. So, if you are a family of four, you will want to look for discounts on larger meals, which do exist at both Mcdonalds and Burger King.
Mcdonalds - Sometimes good deals, rewards program just recently introduced(June, 2021).
Burger King - currently offers some amazing deals like two chicken sandwiches, two fries for $5, and $2 Whopper Wednesdays. Points can be redeemed for all menu items.
Taco Bell - Great for mobile orders, new rewards program, a few deals here and there, excusive offers for members
Chik fil-A - Not a particularly good, rewards program is okay (points good for all menu items)
Chipotle - Occasional deals (free Guacomole or Chips), rewards program is not great.
Dunkin Donuts - Always has deals, bonus point opportunities, excellent rewards program (points valid for free drinks only)
Starbucks - Good rewards program (points good for all menu items), rarely special deals in app, great for mobile ordering
Auntie Anne's - Coupons appear often like Buy one get one free pretzels, decent rewards program (points can be used for free pretzels only)
7-Eleven - Many deals in app, rewards program is not great, but points can be used for many food items
If you shop anywhere regularly, you should check to see if they have a rewards program. From your local movie theater to your mom & pop bagel shop, you may be surprised to see they have started their own rewards program. These programs are usually enhanced with their own mobile app as well. These apps often contain exclusive deals, coupons, and bonuses that can get you free stuff quicker than normal.
Deeper dive into coffee:
Starbucks program gives you stars for every purchase (more stars for using starbucks gift
cards). For members, they send out emails giving challenges to gain more stars. A challenge may be to purchase 3 drinks in the next 5 days to earn 100 stars, or something similar. They also give away stars, coupons, and free stuff via their egames, which they seem to do 3-4 times a year. You can get entries for free or by making purchases. Grand prizes include Starbucks drinks for life. Stars are redeemable for anything from muffins (50 stars) to any coffee drink (150 stars). The app is very well done. I don't love their approach of offering buying challenges to gain more points, but its a smart idea to get people to go more (and buy more).
Dunkin's program gives you points for any purchase and 200 points gets you any drink. Bonus opportunities are abundant and change constantly. They sometimes tie in with local sports team and offer deals for wins. Other bonus points come from purchasing certain products or on certain times/days. There are always deals in the app listed under offers and they change every month or so. The app is also very well done and it is my favorite. They continue to innovate and expand their menu, but I will pass on the new avocado toast.
Many apps will give you a free item on your birthday in addition to something free just for signing up!
Free Birthday Stuff:
Arbys - Free shake
Auntie Annes - Free pretzel
Baskin Robbins - Free ice cream
Dairy Queen - Bogo coupon
Del Taco - Free shake
Denny's - Free breakfast
Dunkin - Free drink
Ihop - Free pancakes
Jamba Juice - Free smoothie
Krispy Kreme - Free donut
Olive Garden - Free dessert
Papa Johns - Free dessert
Panera - Free pastry
Pinkberry - Free yogurt
Smoothie King - Free smoothie
Starbucks - Free drink
Steak-n-Shake - Free milkshake
Subway - Free cookie
Taco Bell - Free Frozen drink
Waffle House - Free waffle