Taco Bell tries to juice app downloads with free chalupa deal

Fast-food chains pitch mobile apps as way to limit contact between employees and customers

Taco Bell is trying to boost its mobile app subscriptions by enticing customers with a free Chalupa Cravings Box.

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For one day only, customers who register on the Taco Bell app will be able to pick up their free offering, consisting of a 5-Layer Burrito, taco, cinnamon twists, and drink.

Customers must sign up by Tuesday, June 30 to redeem their offer at participating drive-thrus.

Fast-food chains are leaning on their mobile apps to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, pitching them as a way to limit contact between employees and customers by eliminating the need to pay on-premise.

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A Taco Bell fast food restaurant in Hickory, North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2018 (iStock)

Data shows that fast-food restaurants — well equipped for drive-thru and takeout service — have fared better than sit-down restaurants as the virus gripped the U.S. For the week ending May 10, full-service restaurant transactions were down 58 percent, while fast-food sales were down 21 percent by comparison.

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Like Taco Bell, owned by YUM Brands, its competitors have also stepped up free offerings in order to lure in customers.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
YUMYUM! BRANDS88.18+0.75+0.86%

Last week, Panera announced it would be offering customers free drinks through Labor Day after signing up for its coffee subscription, My Panera Coffee.

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Following the offer, the company garnered over 50,000 new subscriptions, according to Panera.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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