The Truth About Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen's Free Croissants

As far as Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen is concerned, one of its primary goals is to appeal to its customers by providing high-quality dishes at decent rates. As the brand puts it, "How do we pull that off? By cooking from scratch." The brand that was first launched in 1979 is now in 28 states across the U.S. and has an extensive menu featuring appetizers such as scratch burgers, salads, soups, chicken entrees, seafood, steaks, and sandwiches.

Some of the most recommended dishes at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen? Well, according to Ranker, you can't go wrong with the honey butter croissants, the chicken tender platter, homemade onion rings, and the Texas-sized nachos.

Rest assured that you'll be able to enjoy a honey butter croissant during any trip to Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. Fun fact: The restaurant offers customers a complimentary croissant every time they visit the restaurant. If you're wondering why they're free, we decided to do a bit of digging. The first thing that you need to know about the legendary croissant is the fact that it is absolutely delicious. The pastries, according to the brand, are freshly baked every 20 minutes and topped with honey butter, giving you an extra crispy snack. 

Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen's free croissants are a delicious marketing strategy

Who says no to a delicious freshly baked croissant? Not us. While it's true that Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen indeed rewards you with a free scrumptious croissant, remember that it's only the first round that's on the house. After that, you will have to pay. Sadly. You're looking at paying $1.99 for two freshly baked croissants (via the Chicago Tribune.)

Cheddar's even mentions its free menu item on its website: "We want to make sure you always 'get a lot, for not a lot' at Cheddar's. That's why we welcome you with a free round of our fresh-baked Honey Butter Croissants every time you walk in the door." 

The tempting appetizer has long been on the menu, but it wasn't always given for free. According to the Chicago Tribune, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen was struggling financially in 2017 after it was acquired by Darden Restaurants. The team decided to start experimenting by offering free honey butter croissants in October 2019, something that really worked in its favor. The marketing idea was that highly craveable, buttery croissants would keep customers coming back.

That wasn't Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen's only croissant push. In November 2019, according to PR Newswire, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen visited hospitals all over the U.S. with treats for newborns and their parents. The gifts included a dozen honey butter croissants, pre-made meals, and croissant-themed baby apparel. Talk about starting them young.