Update, April 21, 2020: We’ve all been successfully trained, via Pavlovian conditioning, to understand by now that Tuesday is Taco Tuesday at Taco Bell. Tuesdays. Free taco at the drive-thru. No purchase necessary. Also available via the app or online order. Got it. Notable, though, is that today’s giveaway is the new Flamin’ Hot DLT (that’s industry lingo for Doritos Locos Tacos), which launched last week and which The Takeout reviewed along with the Triplelupa, an ambitious feat of fast food engineering. Go read about both items here, then decide if a trip to your nearest Taco Bell drive-thru is in order.
Update, April 6, 2020: It’s the promotion so nice they’re doing it twice. According to a press release, Taco Bell is once again giving away free Doritos Locos Tacos at its drive-thru windows tomorrow, April 7, while supplies last. And just like last time, there’s no purchase necessary. This giveaway, according to Taco Bell, is “just another way the brand is saying thank you to fans and showing a token of appreciation during these tough times... [we] are excited to be a source of craveable comfort again this Tuesday.” A comfort many of us are craving right now is the ability to eat tacos together in public—but until that can happen, eating a taco at home that we didn’t pay for is nice, too.
Original post, March 30, 2020: We’re in an era that demands small comforts, and if you’re looking to do yourself a tiny kindness this week, then treating your belly to a free taco with a Nacho Cheese Dorito shell certainly qualifies.
On Friday, Taco Bell CEO Mark King announced via open letter some of the company’s initiatives to aid the ongoing fight against COVID-19. First, it’s expanding safety procedures and social distancing measures for all employees, with King emphasizing that “we are incredibly proud of our drive-thru heroes who are taking care of our guests every day.” Secondly, the Taco Bell Foundation is donating $1 million to No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit that distributes meals to low-income families with the goal of ending childhood hunger in America. When customers order at the drive-thru at participating Taco Bell locations, they’ll also be able to round up their order to the nearest dollar as a donation to No Kid Hungry. Beyond this, all Taco Bell taco trucks are being converted to mobile commissaries, “bringing food to community heroes and those who work in essential roles.”
Finally, and most deliciously, anyone in America can roll up to a participating Taco Bell drive-thru tomorrow, March 31, and receive a Doritos Locos Tacos for free—no purchase necessary. “I continue to be in awe of the heart we are seeing in this country,” said King; the free DLTs are a show of appreciation and solidarity. Presumably you are still entitled to a free taco even if you’re an unhelpful, unneighborly curmudgeon, but no matter how much of a sinner or a saint you are, you can only get one while supplies last.