In today’s fast-paced world, it seems like there’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, fast-food companies are breaking this norm by offering enticing freebies to customers. But before diving into these deals, it’s important to ask yourself, “What’s the catch?”
Wendy’s, for example, has gone viral with its latest promotion. Every Wednesday until the end of the year, customers can enjoy a free six-piece order of chicken nuggets with the purchase of any other item. McDonald’s is also jumping on the freebie bandwagon with their “Free Fries Friday.” Customers who make a $1 purchase on the restaurant’s app will receive a free medium-sized French fries order.
But it’s not just the burger chains getting in on the action. Krispy Kreme is celebrating World Kindness Day by giving away a dozen of its original glazed doughnuts to the first 500 customers at each of its stores on November 13th. And if you find yourself in need of an emergency pizza fix, Domino’s has you covered with their recently announced offer. Customers can claim a free pizza during a time when they need it most, as long as they make a qualifying online order.
When you add it all up, these freebies amount to millions of dollars’ worth of grub. And fast-food restaurants are not stopping there—they continue to offer regular discounts and deals to keep customers coming back for more.
So what’s driving this wave of generosity? It’s no surprise that inflation plays a significant role. Consumers are always on the lookout for a good deal, and what better deal is there than something that’s completely free?
“Consumers are seeking out value today more than they were a year ago or two years ago,” explains veteran fast-food analyst Mark Kalinowski. Additionally, these deals often serve as a way to incentivize customers to use the restaurant chain’s apps. By downloading these apps, customers gain access to exclusive offers and become part of a digital community. This, in turn, allows the restaurant companies to engage with customers on a regular basis, leading to increased business.
Furthermore, digital-based customers tend to place larger orders, sometimes even 20% bigger than those who order in-person. This trend is another factor pushing restaurants to offer freebies and discounts, as it ultimately leads to higher revenue.
In conclusion, the rise of freebies in the fast-food industry can be attributed to a combination of inflation, the desire for value, and the effectiveness of digital platforms. As consumers continue to seek out these bargains, fast-food chains are eager to provide them with enticing offers that keep them coming back for more.
Krispy Kreme’s Generosity Strategy
Krispy Kreme is known for its generous offers, and their latest promotion for World Kindness Day is no exception. Unlike most of their promotions, customers don’t need to use the company’s app to take advantage of this deal. This is just one of the many freebies that the popular doughnut chain has given out over the years.
During the height of the pandemic, Krispy Kreme went the extra mile by offering a free doughnut to customers who showed their COVID-19 vaccination card. This initiative resulted in an astounding 125,000 sugary treats being handed out within the first 96 hours of the promotion.
However, these giveaways are not limited to specific promotions. Krispy Kreme often surprises its customers with free doughnuts even without any ongoing campaign. Nevertheless, there is still a strategic motive behind these acts of generosity. Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme’s Chief Global Brand Officer, explained that they hope these gestures will generate positive feelings among customers and ultimately lead to future visits—and purchases.
“We’re making the bet that our generosity will be valued and rewarded,” Skena stated confidently.
While freebie promotions can work wonders for a company’s image and customer engagement, they can also backfire if not carefully executed. Craig Agranoff, a marketing professional, recounts a famous example from 1984 when McDonald’s offered free food every time the U.S. earned a medal during the Summer Olympics. Unfortunately for McDonald’s, the Soviet Union boycotted those games, resulting in an unexpected increase in the number of freebies given out.
Agranoff warns that it’s crucial for companies to be cautious and consider the potential financial implications before launching such promotions. It’s no surprise that most “freebies” come with certain conditions or require a purchase of some kind. As customers, it is always advisable to read the fine print to avoid any misunderstandings.
The key to a successful freebie strategy lies in striking the right balance between generosity and practicality. Krispy Kreme is confident in its approach, betting that their acts of kindness will be appreciated and reciprocated by their loyal customers. Only time will tell if their gamble pays off.