Did someone say free food? Companies are getting creative with WFH perks

Torri Donley

Free food at the office used to make a stressful day better.

But with so many employees still working remotely, how can bosses show their appreciation?

I asked companies what they are doing to keep the office culture alive in a virtual world.

E-commerce checkout company Fast said it’s sending gift cards to employees for a weekly team meal, along with a weekly snack box.

Another company, UKG, which offered its working parents a virtual summer camp for their kids, is now offering after-school help this fall. It’s a win-win situation: kids are entertained, while parents get a break so they can be more productive at work.

And San Francisco-based Splunk is offering an extra 30 “pandemic days,” to give workers extra time to care for themselves and their family.

Click here to read about more creative perks companies are offering.

Dropbox is going remote …. kinda

Dropbox says it’s

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Starbucks Is Giving Out Free Drinks Today & Nearly Everything Is Up for Grabs

Torri Donley

a close up of a coffee cup

© Shutterstock.com

Starbucks happy hours have been coming far less frequently since the spring, but the company’s popular free coffee deals are still popping up from time to time.

On October 8, Starbucks happy hour is back from 2-7pm local time. Place your to-go order (while wearing a mask) and you can get a buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) deal on all handcrafted drinks, size grande or larger. While “handcrafted drinks” has a sort of vague ring to it, you’re able to get almost anything that’s not pre-bottled or drip coffee. 

Here’s how to get the deal: Open the Starbucks app on your phone to find the offer in your inbox. You don’t have to be a rewards member to snag the BOGO deal, but you do have to have the app. However, if you are a rewards program member, you’ll land points toward more free drinks. Signing up is free, less

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Hotel guests offered free upgrades and drinks to boost bookings – here’s where to get deals

Torri Donley

Hotels across the country are offering guests special perks such as free room upgrades or complimentary drinks under a new discount scheme.

The Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA) has launched the venture, as the industry struggles during the coronavirus pandemic.

The #SleepOvertoHelpTurnover initiative is similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, enabling hotels to attract extra customers and clients to obtain discounts, MirrorOnline reports.

However, unlike Eat Out to Help Out, this venture is not linked to a Government promotion.

Offers include complimentary meals, free nights, complimentary wine or champagne, free room upgrades, free parking, or even half-price cocktails.

A number of hotels have already signed up and unveiled some discounts. Some of the deals on offer so far include:

  • The  Royal Lancaster London  is offering free suite upgrades if you book a deluxe room from Thursday to Sunday until November
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Ocean Spray gives TikTok sensation free truck, drinks after skateboarding video goes viral

Torri Donley

Just a man, his skateboard and a bottle of Ocean Spray.

Nathan Apodaca became an overnight sensation after his TikTok video of him riding his skateboard down a highway while drinking Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice and then lip syncing Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” went viral. The video was reportedly taken after his car battery died and he had to get to work.



The video, which was posted September 25 and has 26.9 million views, has reportedly earned the 37-year-old man millions of fans on his social media account, as well as prompted a merchandise collection with his face and nickname, Doggface, and $10K in donations from fans via his Venmo, Cash App and PayPal accounts, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Nathan Apodaca was gifted a truck, bottles of Ocean Spray and a longboard from the brand.

Nathan Apodaca was gifted a truck, bottles

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Central Texas Food Bank to distribute free food Thursday at Expo Center – News – Austin American-Statesman

Torri Donley


Food bank distributes

free food on Thursday

The Central Texas Food Bank will distribute free food using its mobile food pantries to help those who are facing increased food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic from 8 to 11 a.m. Thursday at the Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker Lane.

Attendees will receive an assortment of food items totaling between 44 and 76 pounds, depending on available supplies.

For more information: centraltexasfoodbank.org.


Creative Reuse invites

public to Saturday event

Austin Creative Reuse will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its opening of Austin’s creative reuse center.

The public is invited to visit the center at 2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday to celebrate with a make-and-take craft, a look into ACR’s past, a chance to

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Costa Enterprises McDonald’s gifts local educators free coffee and soft drinks

Torri Donley

Special to Gannett
 |  The Destin Log

NICEVILLE — Costa Enterprises McDonald’s has delivered Teacher Appreciation Cards to 78 local schools in Bay, Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington counties to show its gratitude for the area’s educators. This totaled 6,900 Teacher Appreciation Cards.

As a part of the Costa Cares mission, Costa Enterprises McDonald’s is committed to giving back to the various communities surrounding its stores. The Teacher Appreciation Cards were a small gesture to thank the teachers, faculty and staff members who are dedicated to serving their students day in and day out.

The Costa team has hand-delivered gift cards to all local high schools, middle schools and elementary schools surrounding its 24 stores. 

“We wanted to create something to show how much we value these outstanding professionals, especially during these unprecedented times” said David Costa Sr., CEO of Costa Enterprises McDonald’s. “Their jobs

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Why low and alcohol free beers could be considered health drinks

Torri Donley

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

It is often said that weak beer was drunk in preference to dirty water in European towns during the middle ages.

This fact is probably overstated, but the idea that beer was nutritionally important in the medieval period seems more likely.

Weaker, so-called “small beers” would have been low in alcohol but a valuable source of energy and nutrients, helping medieval laborers meet their high energy requirements of 3,000 calories a day.

The industrialization of brewing led to higher alcohol levels in modern beers, which together with their energy and carbohydrate content means beer is now associated with poor health and disease.

Growing concerns about the health effects of excessive beer consumption has driven increased interest in no-alcohol and low-alcohol (“nolo”) beers, especially in adults under 30.

The acceptability of these beers has increased recently, in part due to brewing developments that require less heat and

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Soul food restaurant to open second Lehigh Valley location, dish out free children’s lunches

Torri Donley

Craving candy yams, collard greens and other soul food staples?

Good news: Hot Plate Southern Kitchen, offering honey-dipped fried chicken, Cajun shrimp and other Southern fare, will hold a soft opening of its second location 2 p.m. Thursday at 163-165 Main St. in Phillipsburg.

The full-service restaurant will supplement the business’ other area location, which opened in March at 37 S. Ninth St. in downtown Allentown.

Hot Plate favorites include “soul bites” ($.75-$12) such as corn bread, deep-fried cauliflower, salmon croquettes and mac and cheese soul rolls; main dishes (starting at $13.75 and including 2 sides) such as barbecue pork ribs, honey-dipped fried chicken, smothered turkey wings and stewed oxtails; seafood selections (starting at $13.75 and including 2 sides) such as Cajun snow crab legs, barbecue salmon, fried whiting and deep-fried lobster tails with Cajun shrimp; and sides ($3-$5.75) such as Cajun hand-cut fries, fried sweet plantains, sauteed string beans

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Lyft gives loyalty members free Grubhub restaurant delivery

Torri Donley

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ride-sharing service Lyft Inc will give its most loyal members free restaurant delivery from Grubhub Inc beginning Tuesday, a partnership that could hit their shared rival Uber Technologies Inc.

FILE PHOTO: The Lyft logo is seen on a parked Lyft Scooter in Washington, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The agreement may steer Lyft customers away from Uber Eats while driving more restaurant orders to Grubhub+, which provides free food delivery for its paying members.

Lyft’s VP of marketing, Heather Freeland, said in an interview that the partnership was “not about going head to head” with Uber, but simply intended to offer more benefits to Lyft Pink members who had asked for food delivery perks in a survey the company conducted.

“We haven’t discussed a deeper partnership at this point,” she said of Grubhub.

The deal comes as restaurant delivery has

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Get free drinks and deals Tuesday at Krispy Kreme, Starbucks, Dunkin’, Panera and more

Torri Donley

Raise a cup, the ultimate deal day for coffee fans has arrived.

Here’s the best way to make cold brew coffee at home



National Coffee Day is Tuesday and restaurants, convenience stores and brands alike are toasting the made-up holiday by giving away free coffee and serving up discounted brew. While many partake in the caffeinated beverage daily, the holiday is held annually on Sept. 29.


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Starbucks kicked off the holiday on Monday with the start of its monthlong “Starland” augmented reality game for members of the updated Starbucks Rewards loyalty program.

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Through Oct. 28, the Seattle-based coffee giant will give more than 2.5 million prizes like free coffee, free breakfast and stars.

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