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Monday, November 23, 2015

FREE FOOD - 10 Tips for Mobile Apps

A conversation with a friend leads to this "helpful hint" post.

I usually only eat "fast food" as a last resort, rushing to or from an airport, or stuck in one. But McDonalds promoted their mobile app with the offer of "download the app and get a free sandwich." Not bad. How many apps offer to pay you the equivalent of $3 - $5 to download their app. I thought I'd download, get the freebie and delete it. But... so far, it's paying off... A few weeks ago Alice got to use her app (scan) coupon twice, scored about $8 free. (Mine only worked once. $4 for me.) But I noticed they had two offers expiring today, "buy one, get one free" breakfast and regular sandwiches. So, for dinner...I got a Quarter Pounder Deluxe, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Club, 2x Sausage McMuffins, large order of fries and a large Diet Dr. Pepper.... for $10.29! 4 meals for under $11. I enjoyed the Quarter Pounder, most of the fries, and half the drink for dinner. I stuck the rest in the fridge for later.

Here are a few tips if you download this, or similar apps...

1. ONLY buy when it's a “true” 100% discount value (or better value). "Buy one, get one free" with no other strings attached. You aren't getting a deal if they make you buy a drink, etc.

2. Don't be a sucker. Avoid the "Buy 5 get one free" deals. (Like the lame McCafe offer.) That is only a 20% discount at best. It costs them about $0.25 to sell you each $3 drink.

3. Want to redeem more than one offer on the same visit? Then make more than one transaction. Place your first order, pay for it. Then get back in line or simply say "I changed my mind, I want this other thing too." If they say no, find a different franchise because a manager that won't take your money in this circumstance is likely such a cheapskate that he/she underpays and mistreats their staff as well. *This does not apply to the unfortunate managers and teams whom work for a "cheap jerk" owner. I'd still leave, but be nice to the team. They’re just trying to pay the bills.

4. Never pay for something that is not properly prepared. Don't be afraid to ask for a "do over." Tonight my fries weren't sufficiently fresh. I only eat those things piping-hot, fresh from the frier. So, I drove around from the drive-through and stepped inside and asked for a "do over." I waited about 3 minutes to get the fries replaced, fresh from the frier. It is...always...worth it. 

5. If you go to any chain restaurant (or store) EVER, understand that you rarely have to pay full price if you educate yourself before you pull up to a drive-through or step through their doors. There is a deal offered every week. If you don't have their app, just ask if they are running any specials.

6. Cognitive Dissonance: I have great disdain for fast food restaurants in particular and chains in general. And I "know," yes, it's McDonalds...and yes we should stop eating beef altogether...and yes I loathe their scary marketing in schools, etc. but I'll fight those battle separately.

7. Read "Fast Food Nation." (yes, there's a movie too.)

8. Watch "Supersize Me."

9. Cook. Try to eat food that takes more than 5 minutes in your kitchen to un-package and heat.

10. Make an effort to enjoy food in an environment that allows you to look into the eyes of the person you cooked for, or who cooked for you. (If you live alone like me, don’t do this. It’s incredibly weird eating soup in the bathroom.)

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