19 Fast Food Places That Take EBT

In most states, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) only allows you to use your EBT card to purchase food for preparation at home.

However, under the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), individual states may allow some SNAP recipients to buy hot meals at approved restaurants.

Person eating a burger and fries at a fast food place that takes EBT

It’s helpful to know which fast food places take EBT so you can plan your meals and make the best use of your benefits.

Below, I’ve compiled the list of fast food places that accept EBT in participating states, plus more information about how the Restaurant Meals Program works.

About the Restaurant Meals Program

The Restaurant Meals Program is designed to provide more food options to SNAP recipients who may have difficulty storing food or cooking for themselves.[1]

Who Qualifies?

Those who live in a participating state and are age 60 or older, disabled, or homeless qualify for the program.[1]

Spouses of those who qualify can also use EBT at restaurants.[1]

Which States Participate?

States must opt in to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.

Nine states have extended their SNAP programs to allow restaurant meals for qualifying recipients:

If you don’t live in and receive benefits from a state offering the Restaurant Meals Program, you can’t use your EBT card at restaurants (as previously reported).

The List

The following fast food restaurants accept EBT at select government-approved locations in states with RMPs.

You can select your state’s name under each restaurant to find nearby locations that take EBT.

This list focuses on chain restaurants; note that there may be additional local restaurants in your area that take EBT.

You might also want to check out the list of pizza places that take EBT.

Burger King logo

Burger King

Carls Jr logo

Carl’s Jr.

Church's Texas Chicken logo

Church’s Texas Chicken

Dairy Queen logo

Dairy Queen

Del Taco logo

Del Taco

Dennys logo


See more on using EBT at Denny’s.

El Pollo Loco logo

El Pollo Loco

Fatburger logo


Firehouse Subs logo

Firehouse Subs

Jack in the Box logo

Jack In The Box

KFC logo


Krispy Krunchy Chicken logo

Krispy Krunchy Chicken

McDonald's logo


Popeyes logo


Rallys logo


Subway logo


See more about using EBT at Subway.

Taco Bell logo

Taco Bell

Wendys logo


Wingstop logo


Tip: Keep in mind that each restaurant’s EBT acceptance status is subject to change based on updates to the state’s program. It’s a good idea to contact the individual store before visiting, check with your benefits agency, or keep a backup payment option (like a credit or debit card) on hand.

Fast Food Restaurants That Don’t Accept EBT

To participate in the RMP, restaurants must not only opt in to accept EBT but must receive approval from the government.

In the course of my research, I found that the following fast food places don’t accept EBT:[11][12][16][5][17][14][18][15][19]

  • Arby’s
  • Bojangles
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chipotle
  • Cinnabon
  • Culver’s
  • Dunkin’
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries
  • Hardee’s
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Jimmy John’s
  • Panda Express
  • Panera Bread
  • Popeyes
  • Qdoba Mexican Grill
  • Shake Shack
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Starbucks
  • Whataburger
  • White Castle
  • Zaxby’s


Do I need to fill out a separate application for the Restaurant Meals Program?

No; if your case file shows that you qualify, your EBT card will automatically work at participating restaurants.[20][21] If you have questions about whether you qualify or want to make sure your file is up-to-date, contact your benefits agency.

How do I pay with EBT at participating fast food places?

EBT cards work just like debit cards. Depending on the restaurant, you may need to hand your card to the cashier, or you may use the PIN pad at the register.[22]

What should I do if my card doesn’t work?

Each state has a phone number you can call for EBT card customer service. You may also be able to report the problem online or in your state’s EBT app. See each state’s EBT contact information. If customer service isn’t able to fix the issue immediately or your balance isn’t high enough to pay for your meal, you’ll need to use an alternative payment method.

If I qualify for the RMP, can I use my EBT card at restaurants outside of my home state?

RMPs are state-managed due to their additional eligibility requirements. Only SNAP recipients who live in that state can participate. Even if your home state has the RMP and you’re visiting a state that also participates, you won’t be able to use your benefits at out-of-state restaurants. However, you can use your benefits at out-of-state grocery stores.[23]

In Summary

Several popular fast food restaurants, including Burger King, Dairy Queen, KFC, and McDonald’s accept EBT — but only at participating locations in states that have a Restaurant Meals Program.[11][12][16][5][17][14][18][15][19]

Arizona, California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia allow EBT purchases at select restaurants for SNAP recipients who are age 60 or older, homeless, or disabled.[1]

If you have any questions about using your EBT card at fast food restaurants or want to share your experience with the RMP, feel free to leave a comment below.

  1. https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer/restaurant-meals-program[][][][]
  2. https://des.az.gov/services/basic-needs/food-assistance/restaurant-meals-program[]
  3. https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/calfresh/restaurant-meals-program[]
  4. https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=134997[]
  5. https://dhs.maryland.gov/restaurant-meals-program/[][][][]
  6. https://www.mass.gov/massachusetts-snap-restaurant-meals-program-rmp[]
  7. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71547_5527_104514—,00.html[]
  8. https://otda.ny.gov/programs/rmp/[]
  9. http://www.dhs.ri.gov/Programs/SNAPFoodAccessProject.php[]
  10. https://www.dss.virginia.gov/vrmp/index.cgi[]
  11. https://dbmefaapolicy.azdes.gov/FAA1/baggage/MealsProgramRestaurants.pdf?time=1615933837258[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
  12. https://www.ebt.ca.gov/locator/index.html#/locator.page[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
  13. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Assistance-Programs/Food-Assistance/Restaurant-Meal-Program/MI-RMP-Restaurant-List.pdf?rev=228cda63f3464d86a9308f2236b749b1&hash=50802CEEDD02C0C71B80B3F81F8708BD[]
  14. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Assistance-Programs/Food-Assistance/Restaurant-Meal-Program/MI-RMP-Restaurant-List.pdf?rev=2e1041b367924b459aabe28616c376f2&hash=C67A72FAF79F7EE462C30AECE9034BBF[][][]
  15. https://dhs.ri.gov/programs-and-services/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/supplemental-nutrition-5[][][]
  16. https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=146353[][]
  17. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/list-of-restaurantsfood-trucks-approved-by-the-commonwealth-of-massachusetts-for-the-snap-restaurant-meals-program-rmp[][]
  18. https://otda.ny.gov/programs/rmp/participating-restaurants/[][]
  19. https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ebt_card/ebt_retailers.cgi[][]
  20. https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/-/media/Project/Websites/mdhhs/Assistance-Programs/Food-Assistance/Restaurant-Meal-Program/RMP-FAQs-EBT-Recipients-v2.pdf?rev=4167c7d769704c54a728fd3744c5acca&hash=4A7AF354E0C018E2DFD0090E093D610E[]
  21. https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=145505[]
  22. https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/361[]
  23. https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/Can-I-buy-food-at-restaurants-with-Supplemental-Nutrition-Assistance-Program-benefits-For-SNAP-Clien[]


  • Deyanira

    Hi! I am a frequent client at subway and they DO ACCEPT EBT. Everything on the menu. Hot or cold. This article is not fake. Please read the imperative sections of this article which very clearly states it is at the franchise discretion if they will accept the form of payment.

  • patrick salazar

    Just went to subway they said never heard of it

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Kathleen Wilson

      Hi Patrick,
      It’s ultimately up to individual Subway stores if they want to accept EBT or not — looks like the store you went to is definitely one that has decided not to accept EBT.

  • Gunther

    It’s absolutely correct that whether or not you’ll be able to use EBT at a fast food place will depend on how your EBT card is FLAGGED. Odds are, if you have a home and a KITCHEN, you’ll be blocked from fast food and takeout.

    For anyone in LA county (specifically the south bay) for those who DO have this status, I’ve successfully ordered HOT meals at KFC, Little Caesar’s, and Jack-in-the-Box. Don’t bother with Carls Jr or McDonald’s here. NONE take EBT.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      Hi Gunther,

      Thanks for sharing. We appreciate hearing about your local experience, and it’s helpful for future readers — especially on topics like EBT, where specifics inevitably have significant local variation.

  • Monica H

    Some restaurant chains have limited locations that except EBT. For instance here in San Diego County, Ca..you can eat at Carl’s Jr in one part of the city and the other location does NOT accept it. You need to go to Cal fresh as website to see the list ,and my welfare caseworker gave me a copy for the WHOLE county!!

  • Mad Customer

    This is fake. I just went to McDonald’s and asked if they accepted EBT and they said no.

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

      Hi Mad,

      You’re right in that many McDonald’s won’t take EBT. Franchise locations don’t have to accept EBT, and most won’t. Also, EBT can only be used for a limited selection of items, so even at a McDonald’s that does take EBT, if you asked for a non-eligible item, you could be denied.

    • Tk

      I’m at mcdonalds right now and they said no and never heard of the card. On to burger king next

      • First Quarter Finance logo
        First Quarter Finance | Laura Bachmann

        Hi Tk,

        Good luck a Burger King, and thanks for sharing your experience at McDonald’s. McDonald’s is famous for being a highly franchised chain — over 80% of locations are franchised. And, the majority of these franchised locations may not take EBT, as they’re free to set payment policies and not take EBT. Your comments on McDonald’s are appreciated as they’ll help future readers figure out their chances before taking a trip to McDonald’s and trying to pay with EBT.

        • Scoley80

          The McDonald’s in Greeneville and Johnson city TN takes EBT for cold food items including salads

    • This really happened

      I am at McDonald’s and I just saw a person pay for their food with an EBT card – 1 sausage bisciut.

      • First Quarter Finance logo
        First Quarter Finance | Kathleen Wilson

        Thanks for sharing. We appreciate hearing about your local experience, and it’s helpful for future readers — especially on topics like EBT, where specifics inevitably have significant local variation.

  • Will

    First of all it should be noted that many states that allow ebt food to be used at fast food places limits those purchases to HOMELESS ONLY. Other states allow it for disabled, elderly, and homeless. In no cases can peopl use them if they are able bodied people who have homes where they can cook their own foods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *