Skip navigation
McCafe It Forward Still Hero Image.JPG

McDonald’s giving away free coffee this week

McCafé It Forward campaign promotes good deeds

McDonald's, which recently refreshed the look of its 10-year-old McCafé program, is launching a pay it forward-inspired event that could result in thousands of customers getting a free cup of coffee over the course of three days this week.

McCafé It Forward, launching Wednesday, involves 500 pre-selected “local do-gooders and coffee lovers across the country,” the Chicago-based chain said Tuesday. They are tasked with kicking off a “chain of goodness” giveaway using gold “McCafé It Forward” cards, which are valid for a free small cup of hot coffee or a small iced coffee Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  

“These individuals were chosen to kick off the chain of goodness because they’ve been recognized as a hometown hero or do-gooder by their community, or they’ve shared their passion for coffee on social media,” McDonald’s said.


Once they get their free cup of joe, McDonald’s is encouraging the do-gooders to pass the McCafé It Forward card to friends, family or strangers. 

“Just make sure to keep the good going,” McDonald’s states in a promotional video.

McDonald's said there's a limit of one cup per customer, per transaction. The card automatically re-loads for the next person to use. 

So how do you keep bad apples who receive the card from swiping all day long? 

"We believe in the goodness of our customers, and we’re hoping to serve a lot of McCafé coffee as a result of customers passing along the McCafé It Forward cards," McDonald's said.


The coffee freebie comes a week after McDonald’s announced a refresh of the McCafé logo and packaging. The gold-centric redesign applies to everything from cups to pastry bags. The tweaks are part of a two-year effort by McDonald’s to enhance McCafé offerings.

In 2017, McDonald’s added a cappuccino, Americano and iced caramel macchiato drinks to the McCafe menu. Restaurants were also outfitted with higher quality espresso machines. It was the first major menu upgrade since McCafé launched in 2009.

Last year, McCafé added two limited-time cold-brew frozen drinks.

The coffee giveaway isn’t the only nationwide deal McDonald’s is launching this summer.

On Aug. 13, the company debuted a buy one, get one for $1 lineup. The choices include the Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and 10 piece Chicken McNuggets. For a limited time, customers can mix or match any two. The lesser value of the two items will be offered for $1.

“We know that many of today’s customers are looking to get more out of their dollars, and still want menu items they crave,” Alyssa Buetikofer, McDonald's USA Strategic Planning & Value Lead, said in a statement. “The new Buy One, Get One for $1 deal is the latest way we’re bringing delicious, affordable food our customers love.”

McDonald’s has about 14,000 restaurants in the U.S.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven  

TAGS: Marketing
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.