Woman holding a french fry like a mustache

The only thing better than free stuff is free food. Restaurants want to earn your business, and they’re offering you free food to get it.

Free is the Best Ingredient

Woman eating two sprinkle doughnuts
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These popular restaurant chains are waiting for you to ask them for free food. Check out these ways to score your favorite grub for free.99.

1. Starbucks

Starbucks restaurant
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Join Starbucks Rewards and earn Stars for every purchase you make. Once you accumulate 25 stars, you can redeem them for free food and drinks.

Membership in the Starbucks Rewards program also gives you access to free hot coffee and tea refills. Don’t forget to use the Starbucks app to redeem a free drink or food item on your birthday.

2. Burger King

Burger King restaurant
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Download the BK app or head to their website and get a free Whopper, Croissan’wich, or Original Chicken Sandwich on your first digital order with a minimum purchase of $3.00.

3. Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme doughnut shop
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Receive a free doughnut of your choice when you sign up for Krispy Kreme Rewards. If one free doughnut feels like a tease, earn extra rewards points each time you purchase coffee or doughnuts.

More rewards points = more free doughnuts.

4. Auntie Anne’s

Auntie Anne's restaurant
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Use Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Perks app to earn special offers, a birthday treat, and ten reward points for each dollar you spend. Two hundred fifty points score you a free pretzel, plus receive a pretzel reward after spending your first dollar as a member.

5. California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen restaurant
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California Pizza Kitchen wants to help you save money by rewarding you for becoming a member of their CPK Rewards program by offering you the following benefits:

  • Free Small Plate when you register
  • Free birthday dessert
  • 1 point for every $1 you spend (75 points = $5 reward)
  • Additional member offers

6. Panera Bread

Panera Bread restaurant
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When you join Panera Bread’s free rewards program, you’ll earn rewards based on items you order. You’ll also get a free birthday treat, also personalized based on your order history.

In addition, Panera also reminds its members to keep an eye on their emails inboxes for surprise offers.

7. Einstein Bros Bagels

Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurant
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Also part of Panera Brands (along with Panera Bread), Einstein Bros Bagels will give you a free bagel and schmear when you join the Schmear Society.

As a member, you’ll also earn 2 points for every dollar you spend. Points can be used toward food and beverage purchases on their mobile app. Plus, you’ll also get a free egg sandwich on your birthday.

8. Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant
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Chipotle Mexican Grill touts their Chipotle Rewards Program as “The fastest way to free Chipotle.” Members earn 10 points for each dollar spent and free chips and guac once you sign up and make your first purchase.

Earn extra bonuses and rewards that you can redeem to get free food, drink, donations, and even Chipotle Goods – their line of sustainably-made apparel.

9. McDonald’s

McDonald's restaurant
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Join McDonald’s free My Rewards program and download their mobile app to get a free order of large fries.

Earn 100 rewards points for each dollar you spend plus 1,500 bonus points once you make your first purchase. Points can be redeemed for your favorite McItems once you accumulate 1,500 points.

10. Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins ice cream restaurant
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Baskin Robbins rewards ice cream lovers who download their mobile app and sign up for deals with a free regular scoop. The app also helps you save more money by giving you access to additional coupons and deals.

11. On the Border

On the Border restaurant
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Join On The Border’s Border Rewards program and enjoy a free dessert with the purchase of an entree at your next fiesta.

You’ll also earn rewards points on food and catering orders and receive special members-only discounts as a member.

12. Jimmy John’s

Jimmy John's sandwich shop
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Jimmy John’s swears by its speedy delivery. You can test it out for yourself and snag a free sandwich when you sign up for Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast Rewards program and place your first order. You’ll also earn rewards you can redeem for other free items like sides and drinks.

13. IHOP

IHOP restaurant
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IHOP’s rewards program – International Bank of Pancakes – offers members “returns on their ingestments” in the form of one PanCoin for every $5 spent.

IHOP has deemed their PanCoins as “crypto-pancakes.” Earn three of them and exchange them for a free short stack.

Membership also earns you free pancakes on your birthday, exclusive offers, and the ability to exchange your rewards for other tasty assets in their Stack Market.

14. Friendly’s

Friendly's restaurant
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Your sweet tooth will appreciate all of the free sundaes you’ll earn as a member of Friendly’s Sweet Rewards program.

Member benefits include:

  • Free medium sundae when you sign up
  • $5 Reward for every 75 points earned
  • 6th medium sundae is free
  • Free delivery every day
  • Free medium sundae during your birthday month
  • Additional coupons and offers

15. Dunkin’

Dunkin' Donuts restaurant
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Not to be outdone by its partner, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ offers DD Perks members five rewards points for each dollar spent.

Sign up to get a free medium Dunkin’ Refresher and earn additional free drinks with every 200 points.

16. Chick-fil-A

Chick-Fil-A restaurant
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Chick-fil-A One, Chick-fil-A’s tiered membership program, rewards you with points each time you order.

You’ll also have the option to reach higher membership tiers, unlocking new rewards with each level you achieve. Earn 10 points for each dollar you spend, a free birthday reward, and even surprise bonuses from your local restaurants.

17. Jersey Mike’s

Jersey's Mikes Subs shop
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Last but certainly not least, join Jersey Mike’s My Mike’s email club to earn “Shore Points” on purchases, exclusive offers, and a free sub on your birthday.

How to Choose?

Woman holding free coffee cup
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That’s easy, don’t!

Join all the programs. Get all the free food. Your wallet will thank you – your waistline may not.

This article was produced and syndicated by Cents + Purpose.

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Kristin Stones is the owner of Cents + Purpose, an online community dedicated to sharing practical personal finance content. Her mission is to equip women with the necessary tools and knowledge to take back control of their money and live a more purposeful life. She creates actionable content to help her audience achieve financial wellness using her simple approach to managing money - all learned through her personal experience of paying off almost $55,000 of debt in under two years.

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