Chipotle free meal coupon: Real or hoax?

Don't Waste Your Money

Thousands of people are sharing a coupon online that claims it is valid for one free meal at Chipotle, from now until March 20.

Chipotle restaurants across the country are reporting that people are walking into stores with the coupon, and asking for a free dinner.

The problem? It's a hoax.

Chipotle is not offering a free meal to anyone who shares the coupon online. If it were, it would lose millions of dollars in business this month, handing out free dinner after free dinner.

The hoax preys on people's memory of an old Halloween promotion, where Chipotle used to give out free burritos to people who dressed like a burrito (they ended the promotion in 2010). 

But that was just a one day deal, and did not offer a free"meal" with no questions asked.

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

No restaurant gives out free meals, with no strings attached. Typically, you have to buy one dinner to get another free, or buy a sandwich to get a free drink. Restaurants are not charities.

Old time Internet users (circa late 1990s) will remember the viral AOL messages that promised free money if you forwarded a message to all your friends. Millions of people forwarded those, and never got a penny.

So do your friends a favor and don't forward this one. Unless you like making your friends look really dumb when they show up to the Mexican fast food restaurant asking for a free burrito.

As always, don't waste your money.

RELATED: Chipotle says there will be no 'guacapocalypse'

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