How about some free fries with that shake?

McDonald’s announced today that starting this Friday, they will offer customers a free carton of medium fries every Friday. In a promotion that they’re fittingly billing “Free Fries Friday,” the fast-food giant is offering the deal until 12/31/23.

But, of course, nothing in life is entirely free. Free Fries Friday comes with a caveat designed to get diners to use the McDonald’s app. In order to partake in these golden delicacies, customers must first make a $1 minimum purchase in the McDonald’s mobile app.

How it works

To claim your free McDonald’s fries, follow these steps:

  • Go to the deals tab in the McDonald’s app, select the Free Fries Friday deal, and tap the “Add Deal to Mobile Order” button—only one order per customer.
  • Make your payment using any major credit card. Your card will not be charged until you check-in. Add or remove a payment card using the Checkout and My Account screens.
  • Check-in at any participating McDonald’s to pick up your free Fries (with $1 minimum purchase). Get them delivered to you with curbside pickup, or grab a bag at your nearest McDonald’s Drive Thru.

Bullish on the app

McDonald’s is clearly McAnxious to get customers to continue using their app. They’re also offering 10 Free McNuggets with their first app order (again with a minimum payment of $1).

Retailers love mobile apps because they allow them to connect directly with customers, pushing messaging and offering deals. Also, research shows that conversion and average transaction value are higher on mobile apps than on their e-commerce sites.

Not that McDonald’s is having trouble getting customers to download their app. According to QSR Magazine, the McDonald’s mobile app was downloaded 127 million times worldwide in 2022, with 40 million new downloads in the U.S. That figure was 194 percent more than McD’s closest competitor, Starbucks.

Time will tell if Free Fries Fridays will catch on like Taco Tuesdays, Wing Wednesdays, or even Meatless Mondays. But McDonald’s hopes people “make it fry day with a friend.” After all, French Fries are consistently the best-selling item on the McDonald’s menu.

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