In an effort to combat recently launched breakfast efforts at Taco Bell and others, as well as trying to score some positive publicity amid months of negative news and lawsuits regarding its labor practices, McDonald’s is acting like Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning, gifting free coffee with a smile for two weeks starting Monday.
The fast food mega-chain announced this morning that from March 31 through April 13, people can stop by participating McDonald’s during breakfast hours for a free small McCafe coffee.
Notice that we emphasized the word “participating,” as most McDonald’s are franchisee-owned, meaning it’s up to the individual owners as to whether or not they will participate.
Every time a major fast food chain with a large number of franchisees does one of these freebie offers, we’re inundated with e-mails from readers whose local franchise says they are not taking part, or which puts bizarre restrictions on the promotion. Given the sheer number of McDonald’s restaurants and the attitudes of some franchisees, we won’t be surprised if we start hearing about customers who are denied their free coffees.
One place there will be gratis caffeine is at the “Make Friends with McCafe” sampling events the chain will be holding at various high traffic locations and transportation hubs in certain cities. Free McCafes will be handed out to commuters at these events, where people will also get “treated” to things like live musical performances, or “spontaneous comedy experiences.”
I’d be tempted to go to the one here in Philadelphia at Suburban Station next week, but I hate mornings, don’t drink coffee, and can think of few things more unpleasant than being in a crowded transportation hub listening to the caterwauling of some local singer/songwriter or being hassled by a hacky comedian, so I’ll probably just remain bleary-eyed here in the Consumerist bat cave with my traditional IV drip of rain water, listening to the soothing grooves of my bootleg recordings of Tuvan throat singing.