Coronavirus prompts fast food chains to offer free items during pandemic

Taco Bell, Burger King among quick service restaurants running promotions

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the United States, companies throughout the country are stepping up to provide goods for Americans on and off the front lines.

A number of fast-food chains are pitching in with free food.

Burger King

Burger King is giving away free Whoppers to people who see the company’s interactive QR code in commercials. When viewers scan the QR code displayed on their TV, according to the company, they will then be able to claim their free Whopper through the Burger King app, which can be applied to a future purchase.

"We are all locked at home. So why not gamify even what would otherwise be an ordinary TV spot? That was the thinking behind the “QR Whopper” campaign," a Burger King spokesperson told FOX Business.

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QSRRESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC.59.28-0.81-1.35%

Wendy's

Wendy’s is trying to drum up business during the coronavirus pandemic by offering free chicken nuggets.

The giveaway, which the company is calling “GroupNug,” will go into effect Friday. The four-piece order will be available to “every car that rolls through the drive-thru," according to the fast-casual chain.

“Wendy's restaurant teams across the nation have been living out one of Wendy's most important values – Do the Right Thing – by helping their communities wherever they can during this unprecedented time,” Wendy's U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Carl Loredo said in a statement. “These actions shine a light on so many individuals both in Wendy's and across the nation doing good for others. We want to show our appreciation with GroupNug.”

CHIPOTLE JOINS STARBUCKS, AMAZON WITH CORONAVIRUS PAY BUMP

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WENTHE WENDY'S COMPANY22.17-0.17-0.76%

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Chipotle 

Chipotle will donate a burrito to medical professionals each time a customer names their burrito order "4HEROES" on the Chipotle app or website. The program will run from April 21 to April 26 and health care workers will be able to sign up for a chance to get the free food staring on starting on Nurses Day, May 6, the company said.

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CMGCHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL INC.1,276.68+13.86+1.10%

Other big restaurant chains have been committed to helping their communities, too.

Starbucks is offering free coffee for first responders and health care workers. Sandwich shop Jersey Mike's Subs has committed to donating millions of subs as part of the company's Million Sub Sandwich initiative. And some chains, like Subway, will sell groceries including bread, meat, cheese and vegetables, plus chips and cookies.

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This story has been updated to include the most recent offers by Wendy's and Burger King.