Restaurants may soon offer freebies, rewards to those who completed their Covid vaccine shots 2
How about extra bacon with your pancakes? Photo by Joy Real on Unsplash
Food & Drink

Restaurants may soon offer freebies, rewards to those who completed their Covid vaccine shots

The move is geared to help the restaurant businesses and encourage the unvaccinated to get their doses ASAP
RHIA GRANA | May 14 2021

How does a free sundae, doughnut, extra bacon, or drink sound like after completing your Covid shots? Simply present your vaccine card in store and you get the freebie. Sounds like a deal?

In an effort to allow the food industry to recover, and at the same time support the government drive to have more people inoculated, many food and beverage brands in the United States have actually been providing rewards and incentives to those who have received the full dose of their Covid vaccine.

Since March 22, the U.S. outlets of Krispy Kreme have been treating those who have been jabbed twice to a free original glazed doughnut—that’s one doughnut per visit. All they need to do is show their vaccine card in any of the Krispy Kreme stores and drive-thrus. 

In the Big Apple, to encourage New Yorkers to get their vaccine shots, Shake Shack, in partnership with NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office, recently started giving away ShackBurger vouchers to people who will get their vaccine in one of NYC’s mobile vaccine buses. 

It seems our local restaurants are taking the cue from these international food brands. In an interview Thursday with SRO on Teleradyo, Resto PH president Eric Teng expressed their group of restaurant owners’ intention to offer special deals and discounts to those who have completed their Covid shots.

The goal, says Teng, is to drive up the restaurant industry business, which has been severely hit by the pandemic. He says deals and promos will allow restaurant owners to manage their businesses through surges and spikes that might occur not only this year, but also in the next few years. Hence, the group is looking at the effort as a way to entice more people to come into their dining joints while supporting government agenda to encourage more people to get vaccinated. 

Resto PH currently has over 200 member-brands with over 3,000 restaurants, and many have already expressed support in the idea. According to Teng, some restaurants are giving away certain perks—say, an item on their menu, a dessert, or a drink—that are within their planned discount rate. Non-members of Resto PH are also encouraged to come up with their own promos to be given those who already took their vaccine.

Teng appeals to government for Covid restrictions to be eased up among seniors who already completed their Covid vaccine doses—that they be allowed to enjoy indoor dining. “What we’re asking is that [government] give us 30% indoor dining, then they give us another 30% indoor dining capacity for people who were already vaccinated,” says Teng. 

The Resto PH leader says he doesn’t support the “no-vaccine, no entry proposal” suggested by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. “As Sec. Lopez said, they themselves are very wary about the perception of discrimination, and so are we. We want to be inclusive. There is no reason for us to bar people from coming in. We want more diners into our place of business,” he said. He pointed out that since a very small percentage of the Filipino population has been vaccinated, it would mean that restaurants can only serve this particular population if they were to follow the “no-vaccine, no entry” proposal.

“We understand that herd immunity will not happen overnight. So gradually, what we’re hoping to see is that every month, we’ll be able to serve the number of vaccinated people with a special treat and it allows us to add more capacity to our businesses so that we’re not just dealing with [the allowed] 10% restaurant capacity,” says Teng. “We need to give our solution proposal as well on how we can increase capacity safely.”