SNAP, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide low-income individuals and families with food. Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which were once known as food stamps, are used to buy food at grocery stores and are now available at some select fast food locations. Keep reading to learn about all the fast food places that accept EBT cards as payment. It’s quite the list!

In This Article

  • What Is an EBT card?

  • Fast Food Items You Can Buy with EBT

  • The List of Fast Food Restaurants That Accept EBT

What Is an EBT Card?

Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, also known as EBT cards, look and act much like a debit card, except there is no link to your bank account. EBT cards are connected to your SNAP benefits account, so when you swipe your EBT card at the grocery store to pay for your food, the funds from your SNAP benefits go into the store’s bank. The USDA keeps a list of all the retailers that accept SNAP in each state on this website (but note that this resource doesn’t work on all web browsers).

Fast Food Items You Can Buy with EBT

The USDA regulates what people can and cannot buy with SNAP benefits and the list is available on their website. People can buy food for the household to eat. People cannot use their EBT card for alcohol, tobacco, nonfood items (pet food, cleaning supplies, etc), vitamins, medicines, food that will be eaten in the store, or hot foods.

The clause excluding hot foods and food that can be eaten in stores removes a lot of restaurants and fast food establishments from accepting EBT cards. However, the USDA also states, “In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.” Note that based on the published information, the Restaurant Meals Program (as this initiative is known) is available only for homeless, elderly, or disabled recipients of EBT.

The only states where the Restaurant Meals Program is confirmed to be widely available are Florida, Michigan, Arizona, and California. Other states may or may not participate in the Restaurant Meals Program; you may need to contact your local franchise of any of the companies mentioned below to find out if the program is available in your area.

The rules for the Restaurant Meals Program and the areas where it is available are hazy. That’s why we wanted to put together the list of fast food locations that are known for accepting EBT cards, at least in the four states mentioned above (the policies for other states will vary). Read below so you don’t have to do all the searching! Enjoy!

The List of Fast Food Places That Accept EBT

Subway

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Cold subs, chips, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: EBT cards cannot be used on Subway’s app for ordering ahead, read more about Subway and EBT cards in this article.
  • Find a Subway

Rally’s Hamburgers

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Desserts, milkshakes, and soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Many people have purchased hamburgers and fries to go using EBT cards. Check with each franchise before purchasing.
  • Find a Rally’s

Church’s Chicken

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Coleslaw, desserts, and soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Many people have purchased their chicken using EBT cards. Check with each franchise before purchasing.
  • Find a Church’s Chicken

Kentucky Friend Chicken (KFC)

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Coleslaw, desserts, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Some KFC restaurants allow for chicken and sandwiches to be purchased using EBT cards, but check with your local franchise.
  • Find a KFC

McDonald’s

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Salads, milkshakes, cold coffee drinks, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Each franchise will differ, so be sure to check with your local McDonald’s first.
  • Find a McDonald’s

Papa Murphy’s

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Pizzas, salads, sides, and drinks
  • Additional Information: Since all of their pizza is “take and bake,” it doesn’t fall under the restriction of “hot foods.” Check with your local franchise before purchasing. Sign up for extra offers on their website.
  • Find a Papa Murphy’s

Domino’s

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Salads, subs, desserts, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Their pizza will probably be considered a hot food. Take advantage of their daily deals to get better prices.
  • Find a Domino’s

Taco Bell

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Chips, desserts, specialty cold drinks, and soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Some people have purchased tacos and other main menu items using EBT cards, but it depends on each franchise.
  • Find a Taco Bell

White Castle

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Oatmeal, desserts, specialty drinks, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Some people have purchased the hamburgers and other main menu items using EBT cards, but it depends on each franchise. White Castle products are also available in retail stores to purchase using EBT cards.
  • Find a White Castle

Arby’s

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Salads, milkshakes, applesauce, milk, desserts, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Some people have purchased the roast beef sandwiches and other “hot food” sides using EBT cards, but that will depend on each franchise’s policies.
  • Find an Arby’s

El Pollo Loco

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Salads, side dishes, drinks
  • Additional Information: Many people have purchased other menu items using EBT cards, but check with your local restaurant first. Join the e-club for exclusive discounts.
  • Find an El Pollo Loco

Dairy Queen

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Ice cream, cakes, drinks
  • Additional Information: Some people have purchased other items, such as hamburgers and french fries, using EBT cards, but that depends on each local franchise’s policies.
  • Find a Dairy Queen

Wendy’s

  • Food That Can Be Purchased with EBT Card: Salads, desserts, specialty drinks, soft drinks
  • Additional Information: Some people have purchased other items, such as hamburgers and french fries, using EBT cards, but that depends on each local franchise’s policies.
  • Find a Wendy’s

In Summary

These are the fast food places we can confirm accept EBT cards. Yes, Papa Murphy’s, Taco Bell, KFC, Church’s Chicken, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, El Pollo Loco, White Castle, Domino’s, Rally’s Hamburgers, and Subway are all fast food places that take EBT. All other major fast food restaurants cannot be confirmed or they would’ve been included in this comprehensive list.

Remember, the main idea is to look for places where you can get cold food that you can take out. Each restaurant will have unique menu items that can be ordered using an EBT, so be sure to check with them first before assuming you can purchase anything off the menu.

If you’re looking for specific grocery stores that accept EBT cards, read about the ability to use SNAP and WIC at Sprouts Market in this article. Whole Foods is another grocery store that mostly accepts EBT cards, as outlined in this article. If you find any additional fast food restaurants that are accepting EBT cards in your area, please post in the comments below so others can use the information, too!