Chick-fil-A Offers Free Food for Coins

The national coin shortage inspires creative ways of collecting currency.

July 30, 2020

ATLANTA—Two Chick-fil-A locations have come up with a creative way to solve the nationwide coin shortage, reports CNBC: They’re swapping out free food for $10 in change. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, and Lynchburg, Virginia, the two eateries announced the special offer for bringing in $10 in rolled change and set a limit of 10 trade-ins per customer.

The Huntsville location specified a free sandwich card as a bonus, whereas the Lynchburg restaurant’s post listed multiple options that include a voucher for a free fried or grilled chicken sandwich or eight-count order of chicken nuggets. The Lynchburg Chick-fil-A had a similar offer yesterday. 

Recently, the Huntsville location posted on Facebook that it now has enough coins to last for the next few weeks, but there may be a need to collect coins again soon. “We can’t say this enough, but we have the absolute best customers,” the post reads. “Because of all of you we were able to get enough coins to last us a couple of weeks.”

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A lets its store owners offer incentives to ensure they have enough change on hand for customers, but the company said these two offers are not part of a national promotion.

Both locations attributed the need for change to a national coin shortage, which has been linked to less money flowing through the economy because of pandemic-related closures, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in June. The state-imposed business closures prompted a slowing in the rate at which physical cash and coinage is exchanged as many customers used online payment systems.

Convenience stores also are asking customers for coins in exchange for currency and coupons for free goods, and some are asking customers to round up their purchases for charity, NACS Daily reports. NACS has led efforts to push the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department to address the situation.

Along with the Food Marketing Institute, International Franchise Association, National Automatic Merchandising Association, National Grocers Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, NACS wrote a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. The June 23 letter reminded them that “cash represents more than one-third of all funds transacted in-person by U.S. consumers and that number rises to nearly half of all funds for transactions of less than $10. These transactions are at risk and there are not good alternatives.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.