McDonald's is feeling more like Santa and less like the Grinch with its new meal deal.
Beginning Monday through December 24, the chain is giving away fictional Christmas characters' favorite foods -— or at least foods McDonald's thinks they would love. The catch: Diners must make a $1 minimum purchase and place the order through the McDonald's app.
The promotion will feature a different menu each day, beginning with a double cheeseburger in honor of the Griswold family from "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Also featured is a McDouble for John McClane from "Die Hard," medium fries for Rudolph, coffee for Scrooge and a McCafe item for Frank Costanza from "Seinfeld."
On Christmas Eve, McDonald's is giving away free chocolate chip cookies (for Santa, obviously) without the $1 minimum purchase.
McDonald's regularly tries to entice customers to use its app with a variety of promotions and coupons, as well as a limited rewards program aimed at boosting coffee sales. Increasing the app's user base is "key," according to Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy, because the promotion could build customer loyalty: Customers might be coaxed to come back because of future offers.
Digital ordering and a larger emphasis on customer loyalty will also be in focus for the chain next year, when it launches a new rewards program called MyMcDonald's.
Celebrity meal deals have also been successful in turning around sales for McDonald's, which has partnered with singers Travis Scott and J Balvin in recent months. Both meals, along with the Christmas promotion, all use existing ingredients or menu items -— creating buzz without adding much extra work for employees.