Right now, many businesses and families are doing their part to thank the truckers that are working harder than ever during this time of high demand for medical and household supplies. Now, food retailers have also jumped in by offering new specials and freebies for truckers as a further act of gratitude.
You can find an ongoing list of services happening here or a list of discounts and resources here. At the time of writing this article, these are some of the current specials available for truck drivers:
At Cracker Barrel, drivers can stop by for a free coffee or fountain drink.
At Denny’s, drivers can get 15% off of online orders through the end of May. Denny’s said they are “shifting gratitude into overdrive” for driver appreciation.
McDonald’s, while most of its restaurants are closed for everything but takeout or drive-thru meals, wrote a letter specifically to truckers to express gratitude and ensure them that locations still invite them to utilize McDonald’s McDelivery service, drive-thrus, or to come in for a ready meal to take with them on the road.
“As the world continues to address the quickly changing landscape, we are in this together with you, our valued friends in the trucking and transportation industry,” McDonald’s said. “Thank you for everything you are doing to keep essential parts of our economy going.”
Papa John’s Pizza has teamed up with Conversion Interactive Agency to bring a discount to truckers for 25% of all regular menu prices through the rest of the year. The companies announced the effort on Twitter along with the hashtag, “#ThankATrucker.”
At Starbucks, all frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis can receive a free coffee from cafes with take out, pick up, or delivery options.
Shoney’s, a restaurant chain with locations often located directly off interstates and that typically have large parking lots, is offering free takeout meals for truckers. Some of these locations include Acworth, Georgia, with a restaurant off of I-75 on Exit 277, Nashville, Tennessee, with a restaurant off of I-40 on Exit 216, and Chesapeake, Virgina, with a restaurant off of I-64 on Exit 290B.
In Fordyce, Arkansas, the town’s Sonic Drive-In restaurant has created drive-thru features just for big rigs.
When drivers call ahead to Texas Roadhouse, staff will bring meals right out to their trucks.
The International Franchise Association has partnered with the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association and American Trucking Associations in an effort to keep truckers informed of which franchise food companies are offering special accommodations, additional parking, and discounted meals for truck drivers,
“IFA heard of this need in the trucking community, and we started reaching out to our members, and we have already had seven companies cross the line to accommodate truck drivers, and we are having ongoing conversations with others,” said Josh Merin, vice president of IFA, in April. “All of us in the franchise community have a deep appreciation for the critical role that truck drivers are playing—[that] they always play–but are doing now to keep critical supplies intact and maintaining the businesses that would not be able to stay operating.”
Merin explained that these services also highly benefit restaurants themselves, as many have been struggling to stay afloat when they can only offer dine-out options to customers.
“Many restaurants are facing significant challenges at the moment, and it’s a wonderful win-win where the restaurants can make special accommodations on behalf of truck drivers, and truck drivers can help keep the restaurants applied and offer some business to the restaurants that are struggling to stay open,” he said.
Many restaurants have been offering specials to truckers since March and April. Firehouse Subs announced last month that they would offer order ahead options to truckers to have meals ready upon their arrival.
Long John Silver’s said they would offer truckers a 10% discount each day, with a special 25% reduction on Thursdays. The restaurant is also providing grab-and-go services at some locations.
Additionally, Ruby Tuesday is offering drivers a 25% discount on all takeout orders between noon and 8 p.m. each day.
“Across our stores that remain open, amidst varying state and local government mandates, we are ready and willing to serve you,” said Nathan’s Famous senior vice president, James Walker, in a message to truckers. “We at Nathan’s Famous are incredibly grateful for the dedication and commitment America’s truck drivers have shown as we navigate this increasingly difficult time. We hope to, as a brand, help alleviate some of their stress by providing them with a way to find a fresh meal, in an easy-to-access and safe way.”