With the partial government shutdown approaching the five-week mark, there are about 800,000 federal employees going without pay—not to mention the countless others who normally rely on the vital government services that have been cut off. In light of the situation, many restaurants—both local and national—are offering free food for furloughed workers with a valid federal employee ID. Here, an incomplete list.
Now through January 27, furloughed federal employees can get a free Pizza Baked Spaghetti with the purchase of any drink. fazolis.com
Now through January 27, Potbelly will offer buy-one-get-one-free sandwiches to federal employees. potbelly.com
Regional and Local
All José Andrés Restaurants—Washington, D.C., Texas, Maryland, Nevada, Virginia
From the chef himself: "All my beautiful hardworking people of the federal government, come to any of my places with your families at the bar between 2 and 5 p.m. for a free sandwich. Everyday until back to work!" That includes American Eats Tavern, Beefsteak, China Chilcano, Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya, to name a few.
Brickwall Tavern—New Jersey, Pennsylvania
The restaurant’s three locations are offering a percentage off of food bills. It began January 15, day 25 of the shutdown, with a 25 percent discount and each day the discount is increasing through the end of the shutdown. brickwalltavern.com
Brother Jimmy’s—Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New York
Today through January 25, the barbecue spot is offering a complimentary lunch for furloughed workers. brotherjimmys.com
Condado Tacos—Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania
Through January 30, all locations will be offering a free taco to furloughed employees, no purchase necessary. condadotacos.com
Farm Burger—Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee
Every Friday until the shutdown is over, federal government employees can get a free chicken burger, fries and an iced tea. farmburger.com
You can find more deals by searching social media hashtags (like #ShutdownSpecials) or Googling for shutdown assistance in your city, and many nonprofits are also offering assistance. For example, Hunger Free America’s “Fed Food” hotline will connect anyone affected by the shutdown with food resources.