Free or cheap fast food promotions pop up every now and then. (The year 2017 saw the free free cheeseburger from Shake Shack in 2017, free Chick-fil-A breakfast, and buy one, get one free entrée from Chipotle.)

There's a new promotion from today, 9/30, through the end of the work week on Friday, 10/4, from McDonald's and delivery service DoorDash (which was part of the Shake Shack one). You can get a Big Mac for a penny plus the delivery fees, which, DoorDash's PR firm informed me, "typically starts at $2.99." (Depending on how much above the starting price it runs, you might be better off buying a burger at one of the locations. Call it an not-quite-free-but-cheaper lunch.)

Go to DoorDash and use the code 1MBIGMAC on your order of a single Big Mac. There's only one per person and I have no idea if the app will ask if you want fries with that.

The point behind this type of promotion is to juice business for both companies. Though when DoorDash did this with Shake Shack, the deal was only good in 17 cities. This time, with McDonald's as the partner and coverage for 9,300 locations, the chance that you might be near one of them is greatly increased.

Now, let's talk money. There's a giveaway that is part of the promotion. Everyone who orders one of these burgers gets entered into a drawing for $1 million. You have to be in one of the 50 U.S. states or District of Columbia. There's only one entry per person. You can't work for McDonald's, the franchises, DoorDash, or be an immediate relative of or live with any of the people not allowed to enter.

Let's say that you don't buy one of the Big Macs because of whatever reason but you still have a fondness for lots of currency. Instead, send an email to entry@amoeentry.com. Put only the date--in the numeric form mm/dd/yy--in the subject line. In the body of the email, enter your first and last names, city, state, ZIP, and telephone number. Then hit send while the promotion is running.

Now for the promotion critique. Not necessarily bad, except for the unknown delivery fee. That undermines the whole thing. So, what, you order a penny burger and could conceivably spend more than the full price to have someone bring it over? Any time a promotion entices the words "Instead, I could have..." from consumers, it could be a failure. Especially when the source of the product, McDonald's, is virtually ubiquitous across so many populated areas in the country.

How about flipping it, with buy a burger and have it delivered for free? The two companies could have worked out the logistics of charges. And you don't face the issue of people getting resentful over being charged for something free rather than happy to get a freebie with something they bought.

Published on: Sep 30, 2019
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