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16 Easy Fast Food Restaurant Hacks

By David Lee

November 14, 2023

Order and dine at your favorite fast food restaurant like an insider, while saving money, with our curated list of the easiest fast food hacks and tips. And, the more that you snap your fast food restaurant receipts, the more points you can earn with Fetch. You can then redeem your points for free restaurant gift cards at your favorite chains, from Panera to Papa John’s, and more. Don’t have Fetch? Get the app today, and see how easy it is to earn rewards on your purchases!

It’s sad to say, but we all have our guilty pleasures. My weakness is Burger King fries. They are so fresh, golden, and incredibly delicious: not to mention that they are affordable, easy to get, and available on almost every corner. Fast food is nearly unbeatable for its convenience and taste, when you’re on the go.

Best Flatbread: Panera Margarita

To maximize our fast food outings, we went to the ground floor at the top fast food restaurants and asked employees at our favorite chains what the best fast food hacks were. After reading these hacks, you will never look at fast food the same way. It’s all about getting the biggest bang for your buck and saving money, while having a delicious time.

1. Use the Fetch App 📱

This is one of the best fast food tips for people that like to save money and feel tech-savvy. You can snap your receipt with the Fetch App whenever you go to a fast-food restaurant for extra points. You can then redeem the points to get free gift cards at your favorite stores and fast-food restaurants, including Burger King, Chipotle, Subway, Starbucks, and many more.

Earn more of what you love to eat just by snapping your fast food receipts. You can even upload your eReceipts, if you order online or use a food delivery app. Don’t forget that Fetch also offers free gift cards from Uber Eats.

Fetch Pro-Tip: Use a combination of gift cards to get free fast food and delivery.

16 Easy Fast Food Restaurant Hacks

2. Burger King: You can order anything with bacon 🥓

If there is one thing that we love, it’s bacon. We love the taste, the crunch, and the savory flavors.

Did you know that you can get bacon on almost anything at Burger King? If you would like bacon on your fries, ask for it. Want some with your sundae? No problem. Do you need some bacon to complement your Whopper? Don’t worry. We have you covered. Another thing you can do is ask for French toast sticks for your burger. Now, your taste buds will be whirling! This fast food hack is not only delicious, but will make you look like the bacon master to your friends and family.

3. Chipotle: Ask for half and half 🌮

Chipotle has so many great items on its menu that sometimes you want it all. Don’t settle for choosing rice or beans when you can have both. You can ask for half rice and half beans. The same rule applies to Chipotle’s protein options. The next time you order that burrito, ask for half chicken and half beef, and you will get the best of both worlds.

4. Subway: Order a footlong instead of a 6 inch sub 🥖

When you are looking to save the most money on fast food, finding the best value options should be your priority. At Subway, a footlong sub costs slightly more than a 6-inch sub. You might think that a footlong is too much food. However, rest assured, you can always take half of the sandwich, that you didn’t eat, home and eat it later or even share it with a friend. Splitting a footlong with a friend is a great way to save money on fast food at Subway.

You can use this fast food tip at other restaurants too. Be sure to compare prices and quantity of food. Larger portions will often be less expensive, per ounce or pound. This is because it’s easier and more cost-effective for a fast food joint to order and cook food in larger quantities. Some of those savings will then be passed on to you.

5. Starbucks: Order pour-over coffee ☕

Pour-over coffee takes a little longer to brew than drip coffee, but you will experience a more luscious flavor than traditional methods. Remember that you need a little more time to spare, and it’s probably not a good idea to ask for this if the store is busy. Be sure to check out our guide for more Starbucks hacks and ways to save on coffee.

How to Save Money on Starbucks Coffee

6. Krispy Kreme: Bring a younger sibling with their report card and get free donuts 🍩

One of the sweetest fast food hacks on this list is how to get free donuts at Krispy Kreme. Bring your little sister or brother and their report card to get some free donuts. For every ‘A’ that they get, they will receive a free donut (often with a max of up to six). I guess that it’s time for a sugar rush.

7. Starbucks: Order a small cup of coffee in a larger cup ☕

Who likes anything to go to waste? By ordering a small cup of coffee in a larger cup, you will get the excess of the coffee that they make. Who knows, you might even get a full cup of a large coffee. You’ll even have room for your cream and sugar by default.

Fetch Pro-Tip: Don’t forget that you can get free Starbucks gift cards with your Fetch points.

Fetch Starbucks Rewards

8. Order using the brand’s mobile app 📱

All the fast-food chains have their apps designed to increase customer loyalty. You will get the “deal of the day” or a special coupon on some apps. If you download the Dairy Queen app, you will get a free small Blizzard. Dominos will give you points for each purchase which you can redeem for discounts in the future. Burger King, McDonalds, ChickFilet, and Wendy’s all do special offers for their customers on the app.

best fast food hacks

9. Chipotle: Order the kid’s meal at Chipotle for $5 🌮

Just because you aren’t a kid, it doesn’t mean that you can’t order a kids meal. Sometimes, you might not feel like eating a whole burrito. For around $5, you can have a kids meal with rice, steak, beans, and two tortillas. They might even give you some free sides if you ask nicely. It always helps to do it with a big smile.

10. McDonald’s: Ask for fresh fries 🍟

Nobody likes stale fries! Sometimes, fries are sitting around for a while, and they get hard and stale. The solution to this problem is to ask for fresh fries. They will prepare a new batch for you right in front of you. All you need to do is ask for it politely. Your reward is hot, fresh, yummy fries.

11. Papa John’s: John the Papa John’s Reward Club 🍕

With the Papa Rewards system, you will get one point for every $1 you spend. For every 75 points you earn, you get $10 Papa Dough, which can be put toward any menu item. We’re talking free points which can be used to get free pizza, so you definitely can’t lose by using this reward system.

12. Order from the Secret Menu 📝

Did you know that every fast-food chain has a secret menu? McDonald’s has a two cheeseburger meal, egg burger, caramel apple sundae, chicken McGriddle, biscuits and gravy, grilled cheese, and even an orange creamsicle shake. Starbucks has a cake batter frappuccino, apple pie frappuccino, banana cream frappuccino, butterbeer frappuccino, and the list goes on and on. Check out Hack the Menu for a detailed list of all the fun things you can order at your favorite fast-food restaurant. Chipotle has a burritodilla, double wrapped burrito, extra fillings, fresh cilantro, nachos, quesadilla and even a quesarito.

The next time you go to your favorite fast-food restaurant, be adventurous and try something new.

13. Jamba Juice: Make a smoothie with whatever you want 🍊

You can substitute anything out in your drink to your delight. You can even make a smoothie from scratch. Just tell them what you want.

14. Get unlimited premium coffee at Panera when you join the Unlimited Sip Club 🍞

When you join Panera’s Unlimited Sip Club, you will get the first two months free. After that, it’s only $10/month when you subscribe for a year, and you will get free unlimited coffee, tea, and fountain drinks. Now for you regular coffee drinkers, this will save you a ton of money.

15. Starbucks: Order a Nutella Coffee ☕

Did you know that you can drink your Nutella with a Nutella Coffee at Starbucks? Order a Cafe Misto with a pump of hazelnut. Don’t forget the caramel drizzle.

16. Dunkin’: Save your receipt so that you can get a free donut 🍩

Make sure you save your receipt because there is a code at the bottom of it. Use the code to fill out a short survey, and you can win a free donut when you get a medium or large beverage. And remember to snap that receipt with the Fetch app and rack up more points for free restaurant gift cards.

Earn free fast food gift cards by snapping receipts with Fetch

That’s our curated list of the easiest fast food restaurant hacks. Get snackin’, snap your receipts and start earning free restaurant gift cards with Fetch. And if you don’t have the app, download Fetch today!

Topics: Food and Drink, Gift Cards


David Lee

David Christopher Lee is an award winning photographer and journalist based in Los Angeles and New York. David’s work has been published in major magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Instyle, People, Teen, Men’s Health, Departures & many more.