Everyone loves a freebie.
One way to cash in on freebies is to download restaurant apps. More and more dining establishments are offering free food or drinks in exchange for installing and using their apps. Think: Chick-fil-A milkshakes or Auntie Anne’s pretzels. No, you won’t get your entire meal bankrolled, nor will you get the most expensive menu items gratis, but a free sandwich or drink here and there is still a nice perk.
In addition to getting you free food, these apps can also save you time. Making orders ahead of time enables you to avoid long lines at the drive-through or your coffee spot. Many of these apps also give you points for purchases, which will earn you even more freebies.
To conserve your time and effort, here’s a rundown of some restaurants offering free food for installing and using their apps. Note that some restaurant apps require you to make an initial purchase or register for a loyalty account to get your free food.
After installing Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Perk’s mobile app, you’ll get a free pretzel with your first purchase of $1 or more. You’ll also receive points for making purchases through the app, and each time you reach 250 points, you’ll earn an additional free pretzel. Auntie Anne’s app will also alert you about surprise rewards and offers.
Downloading the Baskin-Robbins app gives you a free regular scoop of ice cream. The app will also alert you to “sweet deals,” which include discounts on select menu items.
As you use the Chick-fil-A app to purchase food, you’ll earn points that you can then redeem for different rewards ranging from cookies and milkshakes to chicken sandwiches and frosted coffees.
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After your first purchase with the Chipotle app, you can enjoy some chips and guac on the house. You’ll also earn 10 points for every $1 you spend within the app, in the restaurant or online, and you can redeem those for rewards. There are also opportunities to double your points and earn achievement badges, which can be used to get more free food and Chipotle merch.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
You’ll get a free brewed coffee or tea just for downloading The Coffee Bean rewards app, plus you’ll also earn points every time you make a purchase. The app also gives users special discounts and offers (like buy one, get one free cappuccino).
With Dairy Queen’s app, you’ll collect points each time you make a purchase that you can redeem on your favorite DQ items. You’ll also receive access to weekly in-app deals.
Download the Dunkin’ Donuts app and you’ll earn five points for every $1 spent. Rack up enough of those points, and you’ll be rewarded with a free doughnut or drink. When your birthday rolls around, you’ll also receive a special offer via app.
Downloading the app (or signing up for the online rewards program) gives you $3 off your first purchase and $2 off your next one on orders that are at least $10. You can also earn points for more rewards as you make purchases, and you can celebrate your birthday with a free birthday smoothie.
Jack in the Box
With the Jack in the Box mobile app, you’ll score 20% off your first in-app purchase. You’ll also start racking up points that will earn you free food down the road. Through the app, users will be privy to special app-only deals.
Download the app or sign up for the rewards program online, and you’ll get your second sandwich free. With Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards, you’ll also earn points that will add up to freebies like sides or sandwiches.
When you download the Krispy Kreme app (or sign up for Krispy Kreme’s rewards program online), you get a free doughnut. Each purchase earns you points toward more free Krispy Kremes. You’ll also stay in the know about exclusive offers and deals.
You’ll get a free Big Mac just for downloading McDonald’s app. The freebies keep coming with points for each order, which you can redeem for more free food. Plus, the app also announces exclusive deals, such as $1 fries and 99 cent coffee.
In addition to earning rewards for your purchases, Panera Bread will sporadically send some surprise offers too. Opting in for push notifications will get you even more. Plus, if you have a regular coffee habit, you might be interested in Panera’s “Unlimited Sip Club” subscription, which currently offers new subscribers three months free.
When you sign up for the Quiznos app, you’ll get $5 off your first in-app order. You’ll also start earning points at a rate of $1 per point. For 25 points, you’ll get 15% off your check. For 50 points, you’ll score a free combo. And on your birthday, you’ll get a BOGO offer on an eight-inch sub.
With the Schlotzsky’s app, you’ll earn two points for every $1 you spend. Those points add up to smaller rewards like chips and cookies to larger rewards like pizzas and sandwiches.
Ordering ahead to skip the line at your local Starbucks is one of the best perks of this app. But you can also rack up freebies by making purchases and earning stars through the app.
Steak ‘n Shake
A free milkshake is yours just for downloading the Steak ‘n Shake app. You’ll also earn $5 reward for every $50 you spend, plus you’ll have access to exclusive deals.
When you download the Taco Bell mobile app, you’ll get a free Doritos Locos Taco. You’ll then collect points with every purchase, which will earn you more free food.
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Update 04/12/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.