Updated Apr 5, 2024 - Business

Eclipse fever brings space-themed specials to restaurant menus

Doughnut with Oreo cookie on top with words Total Solar Eclipse Doughnut

Krispy Kreme has a special eclipse doughnut from April 5-8. Photo: Courtesy of Krispy Kreme

You can only feast your eyes on the solar eclipse for minutes — but businesses are floating a smorgasbord of celestial specials for days.

Why it matters: Monday's rare total eclipse has become a major marketing event for restaurant chains and food brands across the country.

  • After the April 8 eclipse, you'll have to wait until 2044 to spot a total solar eclipse in the contiguous U.S.

The big picture: Businesses are cashing in on the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event by offering fun eclipse-themed goodies or discounts. Some items come with free eclipse glasses.

  • Product releases tied to the eclipse include a special Krispy Kreme eclipse doughnut, MoonPie Solar Eclipse Survival kits, Snapple's Elements Sun juice drink and Perfect Bar's new Chocolate Brownie flavor.
  • Local coffee shops, bars, restaurants and breweries also have eclipse fever with a bounty of themed drinks and treats.

Zoom in: Expect some special products with space-themed company names to disappear faster than the eclipse.

  • SunChips' limited-edition solar eclipse flavor — Pineapple Habanero and Black Bean Spicy Gouda — will only be available online for the "4 minutes and 27 seconds of the solar eclipse's duration of totality," starting at 2:33pm ET Monday.
  • Blue Moon is selling Eclipse Sips Kits online starting at noon ET Wednesday to make beer "shimmer and glow."

Dig in: Here are some of the limited-time items widely available for Monday's eclipse.

Krispy Kreme launches new eclipse doughnut

Krispy Kreme's special Total Solar Eclipse Doughnut, which features a whole Oreo cookie in the center, lands Friday and will be available through Monday, April 8.

  • It will be sold individually and as part of a specialty dozen with six glazed doughnuts in the brand's shops and for pickup and delivery.

Flashback: The chain has a special eclipse doughnut for the last total eclipse in 2017 and has marked other space milestones with special items.

Sonic, Smoothie King eclipse drinks come with glasses

Sonic Drive-In has a new all-black slush that is cotton candy and dragon fruit flavored, which the chain says represents the eclipse's "temporary darkness."

  • The Blackout Slush Float comes with a free pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses, while supplies last.

Smoothie King's new Eclipse Berry Blitz smoothie is available nationwide through April 8 but eclipse glasses are only given away at participating locations within the path.

Eclipse deals at Pizza Hut, 7-Eleven and Burger King

State of play: Circular foods are popular eclipse grub. Here are some deals available nationwide Monday unless otherwise noted:

  • Pizza Hut is offering large pizzas for $12 on Monday, April 8 in a deal dubbed "Total Eclipse of the Hut."
  • Some 7-Eleven stores are selling solar eclipse glasses.
  • Burger King has a buy-one-get-one free whopper deal on Monday, Today.com reported.

Raising Cane's offers free Texas toast for totality path

Raising Cane's announced it is giving away free Texas toast Monday with every combo meal purchased at 190-plus locations along the "Path of Toast-tality."

  • The Dallas-based chain is also holding an online contest where one customer will win "Free Cane's for 20 years" until the next total eclipse.

Chili's free appetizer for "app-clipse"

Chili's restaurants are giving away free appetizers Sunday and Monday for the eclipse, which the chain is calling a "total app-clipse."

The fine print: The company said the purchase of an adult entree and code APPCLIPSE are needed to get the free appetizer on in-restaurant and to-go orders.

Cracker Barrel free eclipse pancake giveaway

Cracker Barrel announced it is giving away free sides of pancakes with the purchase of any entrée, including kids meals, Monday when customers mention the phrase "eclipse pancakes."

  • The restaurant chain is also selling eclipse glasses at its stores, starting at $2.49.

Chuck E. Cheese offers free tickets to use Monday

With some schools closed Monday, Chuck E. Cheese is giving members of its reward program 500 free e-tickets to use for the day.

  • The chain tells Axios that anyone who signs up for the rewards program by Sunday a.m. is eligible to receive and use the free tickets at locations nationwide.

More from Axios:

Editor's note: This story was updated with additional specials, including Chili's, Cracker Barrel and Chuck E. Cheese's eclipse offers.

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