Krispy Kreme vaccine giveaway: Free donut and coffee offer on Mondays – no COVID vaccination required

Whether or not you’ve had the COVID-19 vaccine, Krispy Kreme has a freebie for everyone on Mondays through May 24.

Unlike the chain’s free doughnuts for the rest of 2021 giveaway that requires showing a valid COVID-19 vaccination card, everybody is eligible to take part in Krispy Kreme’s ongoing Monday promotion for a free medium coffee and a free Original Glazed doughnut. No purchase is necessary.

“It’s a new work week, it’s been a long year since lockdown so why don’t you take out a little time for yourself and have a nice cup of coffee and a doughnut,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme chief marketing officer, told USA TODAY.

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The Monday promotion is available at participating U.S. Krispy Kreme shops while supplies last. It’s not valid with online orders or with any other offer or coupon. According to the fine print, it’s not valid in Puerto Rico, Times Square, Dothan, Alabama or Uncasville, Connecticut shops.

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The deal was announced March 22, the same day Krispy Kreme kicked off free doughnuts for getting the vaccine. It also announced, “Be Sweet Weekends,” where every weekend through May 23 you get a “Be Sweet Dozen” for $1 when you buy any dozen doughnuts.

Free Krispy Kreme for vaccine

Krispy Kreme is offering up to four hours of paid time off for each COVID-19 vaccination for its employees. And it isn’t alone. Businesses including retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Trader Joe’s, have been providing paid time off to employees who get the vaccine.

While many companies are giving employees motivation, Krispy Kreme appears to be the first national chain to provide consumers with a treat. It has also given out free doughnuts on special occasions like Halloween for wearing a costume, Election Day and recently on St. Patrick’s Day for consumers who wore green.

But the vaccine promotion has been met with some backlash.

Some critics took a swipe at the promotion, citing the health effects of eating a doughnut daily, especially during a pandemic that’s harder on the obese. Others said the offer discriminates against people who don’t want the vaccine.

“Hey @krispykreme, I love that you want to thank people for getting the #covid19 #vaccine! Every incentive helps & free doughnuts may help move the needle,” tweeted Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. “However, donuts are a treat that’s not good for health if eaten every day.”

According to USA TODAY’s vaccine tracker, which is frequently updated, as of March 28, about 28.2% of people in the U.S. have received at least one COVID-19 shot and about 15.5% of people are fully vaccinated. About 20.6% of the shots distributed haven’t been used yet.

Dunkin’ Free Donut Wednesdays

Every Wednesday through April 21, members of Dunkin’s loyalty program, DD Perks, can get one “free classic donut” with the purchase of any beverage at participating Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide. Flavors include Strawberry Frosted with Sprinkles, Glazed, Boston Kreme, Double Chocolate and more.

“We know people are craving some fun and excitement to break up the week. With Free Donut Wednesdays, we’re excited to give our DD Perks members a free sweet treat to help beat the midweek slump and keep them running with a smile,” Joanna Bonder, Dunkin’ director, loyalty marketing and strategy, said in a news release.

According to the offer’s fine print, DD Perks members are eligible for one free classic donut with each drink purchased and the donut must be added to order when ordering in-store or in the mobile app. Espresso shots, Fancies and Specialty Donuts are excluded.

Contributing: Paul Davidson and Janie Haseman, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

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