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Wendy's Offers Free Chicken Nuggets as Response to Pandemic

Wendy's will hand out free chicken nuggets on Friday to 'every car that rolls through the drive-thru.'

Wendy's  (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report will dole out free chicken nuggets on Friday, stealing a page from Taco Bell's playbook as the fast-food chain battles to bolster sales amid the coronavirus crisis.

Calling it a "GroupNug to all of America," Wendy will give out free four-packs of chicken nuggets on Friday to anyone and everyone who rolls through the drive-thru windows at the chain's restaurants across the country.

Wendy's promotion follows on the heels of Taco Bell's offer of free tacos on Tuesday, a promotion it began at the beginning of the month as a part of its coronavirus response as a "way to say thank you," wrote CEO Mark King, in a letter to customers posted on the company's website.

Giveaways of tacos and other menu items has been a signature in the past of Taco Bell's marketing efforts, especially during big playoff series and other sports events. Taco Bell is owned by Yum! Brands  (YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report.

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Like other fast-food chains, Wendy's has been scrambling to boost drive-thru sales at a time when the seating areas at many of its restaurants have been shuttered amid efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19. The chain was also forced to temporarily close 46 of its restaurants in the U.S., and another 189 in other countries.

Wendy's was cruising towards a strong first quarter when the coronavirus hit in full force, sending sales plunging 20% in the third week of March. With seating areas suddenly closed, drive-thru activity soared, suddenly becoming 90% of all sales, the company noted in an update on its response to the coronavirus.

Shares of Wendy's rose 3.62% to $18.05 a share on an up day for the stock market.