You Won't Want To Miss Free Fries At McDonald's And Wendy's This Week

From National Chili Day to National Pretzel Day, America seems to just love food holidays, whether they're real or made up (Jack-in-the-Box made up a fake holiday, National Drive-Thru Day, in 2002, and many brands celebrate it even now). The latest food holiday that multiple brands can't stop talking about falls on Wednesday, July 13 this year: National French Fry Day. There's even an official website.

You may have heard that Wendy's just made National French Fry Day a week long, but it's not the only fast food chain doling out gold (well, golden brown potatoes) to its customers this week. Wendy's will offer customers different free french fry deals every day from July 11-15, and now, McDonald's has announced that it will be showering its customers with an order of large fries for free on July 13 (via FoodSided). Both brands are making these offers as part of their National French Fry Day celebrations, but what do they really get out of it, anyway? Is there a catch? 

The free fries can only be ordered through an app by loyalty program members

There's something that both National French Fry Day deals from Wendy's and McDonald's have in common. In order to take advantage of the deals, customers need to use the restaurants' apps, and they also need to sign up for their loyalty programs. According to CNN, "the goal for McDonald's, Wendy's and other chains with loyalty programs is to increase sales and lure in customers — ideally on a daily basis — by offering reasons to choose them over their competitors."

McDonald's customers will need to have the McDonald's app and be part of the loyalty program to get their free fries on July 13 (per Yahoo! Finance). But once people open the app to order free fries, the temptation to add other items might prove too strong to resist (especially to those ordering on an empty stomach). In the case of the Wendy's promotion, customers who want free fries need to purchase something else in order to get the deal. And, because there are different offers every day of the week, diners will have to open the Wendy's app more frequently. To the customer, these businesses are celebrating a food holiday in a fun way, but for those businesses, the cost of the fries being given away pales in comparison to the potential sales that could be seen down the line from people who downloaded these apps and joined their loyalty programs during the National French Fry Day promotion.