Taco Bell tries to juice app downloads with free chalupa deal

NEW YORK -- Taco Bell is trying to boost its mobile app subscriptions by enticing customers with a free Chalupa Cravings Box.

For one day only, customers who register on the Taco Bell app will be able to pick up their free offering, consisting of a 5-Layer Burrito, taco, cinnamon twists, and drink.

Customers must sign up by Tuesday, June 30 to redeem their offer at participating drive-thrus.

Fast-food chains are leaning on their mobile apps to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, pitching them as a way to limit contact between employees and customers by eliminating the need to pay on-premise.

Data shows that fast-food restaurants — well equipped for drive-thru and takeout service — have fared better than sit-down restaurants as the virus gripped the U.S. For the week ending May 10, full-service restaurant transactions were down 58 percent, while fast-food sales were down 21 percent by comparison.

Last week, Panera announced it would be offering customers free drinks through Labor Day after signing up for its coffee subscription, My Panera Coffee.

Following the offer, the company garnered over 50,000 new subscriptions, according to Panera.