In December 2020, a report released by the National Restaurant Association indicated that more than 100,000 businesses had closed either temporarily or for good during the pandemic.

Now, as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues and many businesses are starting to re-open their doors, dining out is making a return. A report earlier this year indicated that Utah consumers were spending 24% more at restaurants than they did at the start of 2020, before the pandemic, the Deseret News reported.

To encourage people to eat out and keep that trend going into the summer, Coca-Cola has developed a plan: buy everyone a Coke.

The company is offering everyone in the United States the chance to visit their favorite restaurant and snag a free Coca-Cola drink, Food and Wine has reported.

Study says restaurant spending in Utah up 24%, but local industry leader disagrees

How the Coca-Cola free drink promotion works

  • Through June 15, customers can visit and register for a free Coca-Cola beverage, according to Food and Wine.
  • People who sign up for the deal will receive an email on June 15 with details on how to get the free drink, which can be redeemed between June 17 and 21. According to New York Daily News, people will receive a code that can be scanned at the restaurant of their choice.
  • “We’re giving fans an incentive to revisit and rediscover restaurants reopening after a very tough year,” Kelley Emrey, Coca-Cola’s senior manager of foodservice channel strategy, said in a statement. “The restaurant business has been heavily impacted, so we want to do all we can to support them in this critical phase.”

How does this Coca-Cola promotion help restaurants?

  • According to Food and Wine, the “free Cokes” are being distributed in the form of a $2.50 Mastercard Mobile Wallet credit that can be scanned at any restaurant that accepts card payments.
  • While the company won’t really be able to tell if the $2.50 is going toward a Coca-Cola product, the general idea is to get people dining out and help restaurants rake in some extra cash.