Krispy Kreme offers free doughnut to every American vaccinated for COVID

Winston-Salem: Krispy Kreme is providing a sweet incentive to encourage more people to roll up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine: Free doughnuts through the end of 2021.

Consumers who show a valid COVID-19 vaccination card at locations nationwide will get a free glazed doughnut, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based chain announced.

One company is offereing customers a free doughnut if they are vaccinated.Credit:AP

The freebie is valid at all 369 Krispy Kreme shops located in 41 US states and available “anytime, any day, every day for the rest of the year,” Dave Skena, Krispy Kreme chief marketing officer said. No purchase is necessary. He said he hopes that other brands follow his company’s lead by offering vaccine incentives.

The United States has shipped out more than 150 million shots and dosed nearly 120 million people, according to federal data, but authorities remain concerned about the large number of Americans who are reluctant to get a vaccination.

Some chief executive are so eager for their employees to get vaccinated that they’re granting workers time off or cash incentives to get shots. In the US, retailer Lidl is giving its staff $US200, while Aldi, Dollar General and Trader Joe’s are offering extra hours of pay.

Krispy Kreme is also offering up to four hours of paid time off for each COVID vaccination for its employees. Retailers such as Best Buy, Target and Trader Joe’s are providing paid time off to employees who get the vaccine.

While many companies are giving employees motivation, Krispy Kreme appears to be the first national chain to provide consumers with a treat. It has also given out free doughnuts on special occasions like Halloween for wearing a costume, Election Day and recently on St Patrick’s Day for consumers who wore green.

The promotion is long-term for a reason, Skena said. Krispy Kreme wants people to have a chance to take advantage of it – after all, not everyone is eligible for a vaccine yet.

President Joe Biden has directed states to make all American adults eligible to receive vaccines no later than May 1.

“We wanted it to be big enough to sort of catch people’s attention and spread awareness,” Skena said. “I think anything anyone can do to help show support for those getting the vaccine is a good thing right now and so we’re just trying to do what little we can.”

Skena said he hopes other companies will add vaccine-related promotions. He has heard of a few smaller businesses giving offers with proof of vaccination but nothing national.

“We may be the first, but I really hope we aren’t the last,” Skena said. “We should all do what we can to support folks getting this country past COVID.”

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