McDonald’s serving free ‘Thank You Meals’ to first responders, healthcare workers

A McDonald's restaurant is seen in a file photo. (Credit: CNN)

A McDonald’s restaurant is seen in a file photo. (Credit: CNN)

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McDonald’s has a message for America’s frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic: You deserve a break today.

Participating McDonald’s locations are giving first responders and healthcare workers a free “Thank You meal” through May 5.

All they need to do is show their work badge or be in uniform to receive a free meal, and it is limited to one per person per day.

“In appreciation for the healthcare workers, police officers, firefighters and paramedics who are committed to our health and safety, McDonald’s will offer free Thank You Meals, between Wednesday, April 22 and Tuesday, May 5, as a token of appreciation for their selfless service,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

During breakfast hours, front-line workers will have the option to choose an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddle or a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. Each comes with a side of hash browns and a soft drink, tea or hot coffee.

In the afternoon and at night, frontline workers will be able to choose a double cheeseburger, 6-piece McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish. Each comes with a side of small fries and a soft drink, tea or hot coffee.

McDonald’s isn’t the only fast-food chain giving away meals.

Burger King previously gave away two free kids’ meals with any purchase made through its app, and Wendy’s is also planning to give away 4-piece chicken nuggets on Friday, April 24.

Taco Bell has been giving away Doritos Locos tacos for free for drive-thru orders on Tuesdays for several weeks now, and the company has transformed its headquarters in Irvine, California, into a truck-thru that will service large essential service vehicles that cannot fit into restaurant drive-thrus.

However, these types of promotions do not come without a cost, as it increases risk for both employees and customers with more people visiting locations to take advantage of the deal.

One Taco Bell employee put up a petition on demanding change after the free taco giveaway increased traffic to Taco Bell locations. Taco Bell did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

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