Daily Insights

Free Meals for Frontliners

By: Mackenzie Baker | Apr 28, 2020

McDonald’s “Happy Meals” are bringing extra happiness to healthcare workers. 

Until May 5, frontline workers can get free “Thank You Meals” through drive-thru or carry out at any McDonald’s location in the U.S. Firefighters, police officers, and medical professionals are eligible for a free meal as long as they provide a valid ID. The meals are available throughout the entire day and can be customized per preference. Served in a classic Happy Meal box, Thank You Meals feature thank-you notes instead of a toy.  This promotion marks McDonald’s largest Coronavirus-related effort yet, following in the lead of other restaurants offering free food to first responders. 

All of McDonald’s marketing efforts are changing to focus on “Thank You Meals”. While the burger brand was already running two pandemic-focused commercials, it has now shifted to displaying two video ads dedicated to the free “Thank You Meals”. “Grown Brave”, a touching tribute to frontline workers who started out as children eating McDonald’s, and “Most Important Meals”, which gives a look at McDonald’s restaurants and signs during the pandemic, are both currently running on national television. Additionally, the restaurant is rolling out promotions on its app, website, and email. As such, each channel could reach loyal customers of all kinds according to a Gartner report

McDonald’s gesture of free food could help the brand stay top of mind with hungry first responders.