McDonald's free french fry promotion tries to boost app downloads

Free fries for National French Fry Day only available via the app

As is tradition, McDonald's is giving away an order of medium-sized fries on Monday for National French Fry Day.

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This year, however, customers will only be able to redeem the offer through the McDonald's app. The promotion comes at a time when restaurant chains are encouraging customers to use their apps for contact-free checkout during the coronavirus pandemic.

To obtain the free fries, customers can add the deal to their mobile order through the app and pick up their order in person. The device where you're logged in will need to be scanned in exchange for the complimentary side – no purchase necessary.

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McDonald's app-exclusive deals aren't available for delivery orders at this time, so a drive-thru, self-service kiosk or a cashier-operated counter are the only options for redeeming the giveaway.

(McDonald's)

Similarly, fast food chains such as Elevation Burger, Fatburger and Fatburger & Buffalo's Express and Taco John's are promoting app-related deals for free fries in celebration of the national food holiday – two of which are available for delivery through UberEats (Elevation) and Postmates (Fatburger) from July 13 to July 19.

And with more people at home for extended periods than before, fast food companies have been offering freebies to incentivize mobile orders and remain competitive.

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Late last month, Taco Bell advertised a free $5 Chalupa Cravings Box through its app. Customer demand was so high, however, that its app reportedly crashed for many users, according to Fox News.

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