March started out as a lucky month for deals on meals and sweet treats, but now the coronavirus is starting to have an impact on dining out.
Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day and the pizza-friendly Pi Day on March 14, restaurants have announced limited-time special offers from free subs at Subway to a buy-one-get-one Dairy Queen deal.
But with COVID-19 spreading and becoming a pandemic, Blaze Pizza canceled its annual Pi Day event, which was known for drawing big crowds. In its place, it’ll offer more time for consumers with the app to get a $3.14 pizza.
Dunkin’ has free donuts every Friday in March for loyalty club members. Wendy’s has a freebie available through April 6 on its mobile app. Get a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit with a purchase and the coupon on the app to celebrate the nationwide launch of breakfast.
Here are the deals available at participating locations. To be on the safe side, always check with your closest location before heading out. Some will require you to have a restaurant’s app or be signed up for emails. Find a list of ongoing signup offers below.
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Chipotle free delivery: March 15-31
As our fears of catching the coronavirus grow by the day and with some trying to limit contact and interactions, Chipotle announced a new delivery deal “to make life easier.”
Stating Sunday and through March 31, get free delivery on any Chipotle order $10 or more placed through the chain’s app or website.
Chipotle has also “introduced a new delivery tracker to provide step-by-step real-time updates, so you can follow your meal from the restaurant to your location,” the company said in a news release. You can leave special instructions for delivery drivers in the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com “to limit direct contact.”
The deliveries will have new “tamper evident packaging seal to help ensure food is untouched during delivery.”
Postmates reducing fees for COVID-19
Postmates is reducing delivery fees by half on all weekday deliveries from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time on orders of $10 or more.
The on-demand delivery service said its part of Postmates’ ongoing efforts to support communities with the recently launched non-contact delivery options as well as benefits announced for fleet and merchants.
“In an effort to help potentially thousands of customers who are ordering food and supplies while working from home, Postmates is now lowering delivery fees during the day for the remaining month of March,” the company said in a statement.
Wendy’s breakfast guarantee
In addition to getting a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit during breakfast hours, Wendy’s has a limited-time guarantee.
Dubbed America’s Favorite Breakfast Guarantee, Wendy’s says if you don’t like something you ordered for breakfast, you can “exchange for a similar item” from the fast-food chain’s breakfast menu. The guarantee promotion, posted on the restaurant’s website, notes it’s available at participating restaurants and is “subject to cancellation at any time.”
“Look, we’re putting our money where your mouth is. If you somehow don’t love something we make you, we’ll exchange it for free,” Wendy’s says on its website.
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Dairy Queen Blizzard deal
In honor of its 80th birthday, Dairy Queen has a buy-one-get-one deal on its Blizzard treats. Through March 15, when you buy one, get a second Blizzard for 80 cents at participating locations nationwide.
Any size Blizzard is included and there are 15 different flavors, including the flavor of the month, Mint Oreo Blizzard.
Get a free Subway footlong
For a limited time at participating Subway restaurants, get a free footlong when you order a footlong in the Subway app or website. To get the buy-one-get-one free offer, add two subs to your cart.
According to the fine print, the free sub is of equal or lesser price and there’s a limit of one offer per order. The last day of the promotion was not listed.
Dunkin’ Free Donut Friday
Every Friday in March is Free Donut Friday at Dunkin’ for members of the DD Perks Rewards program, the chain announced. With the purchase of any beverage on Fridays in March, get a free doughnut.
There’s also an Instagram contest to win a year’s worth of free doughnuts. Post an Instagram video or story of your best original T-G-I-F-D-F (Thank Goodness It’s Free Donut Friday) cheer using #FDFSweepstakes and tagging @Dunkin. Winners will be randomly selected each Free Donut Friday. Learn more about the contest at DDSweeps.com.
Sign up for the free loyalty program on the Dunkin’ app or DDPerks.com. With the program, earn points for every eligible purchase with any form of payment including cash, credit, debit or a Dunkin’ gift card.
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Free Cheesecake Factory slice
Through March 25, get a free slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory with a $15 DoorDash delivery order until 5 p.m. weekdays. Add a slice to your cart when ordering online from DoorDash and use coupon promo code LUNCHSLICE. There are no delivery fees.
Kids eat free cereal pancakes at IHOP
Through April 12, IHOP has a kids eat free promotion and a limited-time menu that includes new cereal pancakes and cereal milkshakes, the company announced. The cereals featured are Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries and Fruity Lucky Charms.
The free kids meal is available from 4 to 10 p.m. daily for kids 12 and under with purchase of an adult entrée. This is a dine-in only deal at participating locations and not valid with any other discounts.
Ongoing fast-food sign-up offers
The following are ongoing offers and require signing up for email clubs or downloading and using smartphone apps. Participation varies by location and programs can change at anytime.
- A&W: Get a free A&W Root Beer Float for your birthday and monthly deals when you join the Mug Club at www.awrestaurants.com.
- Arby’s: Sign up for email coupons including a birthday freebie at www.arbys.com/get-deals.
- Bojangles‘: Join the E-Club at www.bojangles.com and get a free half gallon of Legendary Iced Tea with purchase after sign-up and a free Bo-Berry Biscuit with purchase every year on your birthday.
- Boston Market: Join the VIP club for a coupon for $3 off a $10 purchase and other offers at www.bostonmarket.com. And join the new Rotisserie Rewards program at www.bostonmarket.com/rotisserie-rewards and get a free cookie.
- Brueggers Bagels: Sign up for the chain’s Inner Circle www.brueggers.com for offers.
- Burger King: Find coupons on the restaurant’s smartphone app, which can be downloaded at www.bk.com/app.
- Carl’s Jr.: Get a coupon for a free small fries and beverage with the purchase of a select burger for signing up for emails at www.carlsjr.com/email_signup.
- Checkers: Get a coupon for a free large fry with any purchase when you sign up for emails at www.checkers.com/deals.
- Chick-fil-A: Earn freebies by using the chicken chain’s Chick-fil-A One smartphone app. Download and learn more at www.one.chick-fil-a.com.
- Church’s Chicken: Sign up for coupons, the email club and download the mobile app at www.churchs.com/coupons.
- Culver’s: Sign up for the MyCulver’s at www.culvers.com for offers.
- Dairy Queen: Get weekly deals on the Dairy Queen app, which you can download at www.dairyqueen.com/app. Limit one offer per person per visit. In Texas, use the DQ Texas App, which you can download at www.dqtexas.com.
- Del Taco: Get a freebie for joining the Raving Fan eClub at www.deltaco.com/ravingfan. Plus get other deals by downloading the app at www.deltaco.com/app.
- Dunkin’: Earn free drinks with the DD Perks rewards program, plus a birthday freebie. Sign up at www.ddperks.com.
- Einstein Bros. Bagels: Join the chain’s Shmear Society for offers and a birthday freebie at www.einsteinbros.com.
- El Pollo Loco: Get a free Original Pollo Bowl when you download the chain’s app and join LOCO Rewards program at www.elpolloloco.com/loyalty.
- Hardee’s: Get a coupon for a free small fries and beverage with the purchase of any “One-third pound Thickburger” for joining the chain’s email list.
- Jack in the Box: Unlock special offers when you enter your email or cell phone at www.jackinthebox.com/offers.
- KFC: Join the Colonel’s Club for email offers at www.kfc.com/colonels-club.
- Krispy Kreme: Earn rewards with the doughnut chain’s app, which can be downloaded at www.krispykreme.com.
- Long John Silver’s: Find coupons and sign up for offers at www.ljsilvers.com/coupons.
- McDonald’s: The fast-food chain’s app has ongoing coupons. Download the app at www.mcdonalds.com.
- PDQ: Join the chain’s Fan Club for coupons and a birthday freebie at www.eatpdq.com.
- Panera Bread: Earn rewards for your purchases and get a birthday freebie with the MyPanera loyalty program. Sign up at www.panerabread.com.
- Pollo Tropical: Sign up for email and text offers at www.pollotropical.com/rewards.
- Popeyes: Find coupons at www.popeyes.com/coupons.
- Quiznos: Get a free 4-inch sub with purchase when you download the chain’s Toasty Points loyalty app at www.quiznos.com/toastypoints.
- Raising Cane’s: Visit a participating location and ask for a Caniac Club card and register for a free box combo and other deals.
- Rally’s: Get a coupon for a free large fry with any purchase when you sign up for emails at www.rallys.com/deals.
- Shake Shack: Sign up for exclusive offers at www.shakeshack.com.
- Sonic Drive-In: Find deals at www.sonicdrivein.com/deals and download the Sonic app for a free slush or drink at www.sonicdrivein.com/app.
- Starbucks: Earn free drinks with the Starbucks Rewards program and get perks including free in-store refills and a birthday freebie. Learn more and register at www.starbucks.com.
- Steak ‘n Shake: Join the rewards program at www.steaknshake.com/rewards and get a free shake with your first purchase.
- Subway: Earn free subs and get other offers with the Subway MyWay Rewards program. Download the app at www.subway.com.
- Taco Bell: Sign up for offers at www.tacobell.com/register, plus from save on drinks and freezes during Taco Bell’s Happier Hour from 2 to 5 p.m.
- Taco Cabana: Get a freebie for signing up at www.tacocabana.com/loyalty.
- Taco John’s: Sign up for emails or texts at www.tacojohns.com, plus earn rewards with the chain’s smartphone app.
- Wendy’s: Download the smartphone app at www.wendys.com for offers.
- Whataburger: Earn free food with the smartphone app, which can be downloaded at whataburger.com.
- White Castle: Find specials at www.whitecastle.com/promotions.
- Wienerschnitzel: Find coupons and sign up for the Wiener Lovers’ Club at www.wienerschnitzel.com/specials.
- Zaxby’s: Sign up for email, text and snail mail Zax Clubs at www.zaxbys.com/zax-club.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko