Fast Food Restaurants: Stop With The "Free" Promotions Already

Dear Quiznos, KFC, Arby’s, and any other food chain that wants to offer freebies without first securing full buy-in from your franchisees: please stop it. Either the coupons are honored or they’re not; there is no try.

Here’s Adamatic550’s recent experience with an Arby’s promo:

Thought you might be interested to hear that KFC isn’t the only chain with franchisees not honoring free food promotions. Today my brother told me about a deal where I could text ‘roastburger’ to ARBYS (27297). Despite my questions about what makes the Roastburgers ‘burgers’ rather than just roast beef sandwiches with lettuce and tomato on them, I decided to give it a shot because, hey, free sandwich. I text the number and get a text back that I’m supposed to show to my local Arby’s for my free burger-like sandwich. Anyway, I head over to Arby’s to be told that the manager has informed the employees that they can’t accept the phone coupons.

You realize you’re doing long-term damage to any trust consumers may have with you, right? Every time I hear about a “free” offer from a fast food chain now I dismiss it immediately, because I figure the offer will be more trouble than it’s worth as I try to track down a participating location. Instead of getting excited about the offer, I squint my eyes and think the fast food chain is trying to secure some unearned publicity by extending an offer it has no intention of honoring—either among customers or its own franchisees.