Updated below to include my assessment after using the Smash Pass for 2 weeks and updated AGAIN with news of the Holiday Smash Pass extension and new Smash Pass offer.
I recently received an enticing email from Smashburger offering me $1 burgers every day for 54 days! For the low price of $54 the “Holiday Smash Pass” would allow me to enjoy any 1 entrée (burgers, chicken sandwiches, and salads) every day between November 15th and January 9th for just $1. While Cameraman David quickly jumped on the deal, I had to thoroughly scrutinize this offer to make sure I’d get my money’s worth.
First I made sure my nearest Smashburger was participating, be aware not every LA-area location is on the list. Next I had to deduce my break-even point, how many entrées would I have to purchase to recoup my initial investment? With an average entrée price of $7.50 I’d have to buy 8 entrées in order to recoup the $54 for the pass and the $1 price of each entrée. After that, I’d truly be enjoying my meals for only $1. The Smash Pass only covers the cost of the entrée, sides and drinks will cost extra. In order to get the best value from this deal I’ll have to forego sides and drinks (I only drink water anyways). Even though I rarely eat-out, I know the holidays are a particularly hectic time and I’ll probably eat out more than 8 times…
I ultimately decided to go for it and purchase the Holiday Smash Pass. However I quickly realized I only analyzed the financial aspects of the deal and not the operational details. Cameraman David wondered if the restaurants would be swamped due to the popularity of the pass. Smashburger is obviously trying to create buzz with a promotion similar to Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Pass. Unlike that deal, Smashburger doesn’t appear to be limiting the number of passes sold. Also, the pass can’t be used for online orders, it can only be redeemed by placing orders in the restaurant. If it takes hours to order that $1 entrée Smashburger could end up with a lot of angry customers and a PR nightmare. If the lines are out the door, will the Holiday Smash Pass be worth the hassle? Stay tuned to TheFrugalManLA.com for an update in mid-November.
If you’re interested in the Smashburger Holiday Smash Pass here are the important details: The pass will be available for purchase on the Smashburger website from October 31st through November 15th. During sign-up and payment, pass holders will also join SmashClub if not already a member. A new coupon for a $1 entrée will be automatically loaded into the pass holder’s SmashClub account every morning at 12:00 am midnight from November 15, 2017 through January 9, 2018. Unused value for any given day does not accrue. Smashburger will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas day. All signature beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, turkey burgers, black bean burgers, and salads can be redeemed using the Holiday Smash Pass. Premium add-ons will be charged at regular price. FYI-Chicken is considered an add-on for salads. Let me know what you think of this deal in the comments section.
After 2 weeks of using the Smashburger Holiday Smash Pass I have to call it a smashing success. I’m glad I dropped the $54 because the past 2 weeks have been unusually busy and my smash pass has been getting a work-out. I’ve already redeemed my pass 9(!) times, but don’t judge, the majority of my meals have been the grilled chicken sandwich (I’m a fan of the SoCal).
Have I encountered any problems? My fears of long lines full of smash pass-holders was unfounded. The crowds at Smashburger seem to be unchanged. On day one I attempted to redeem my pass by using my phone number because I forgot to download the app. My phone number had to be entered multiple times before the computer would finally accept it. Lesson learned, I downloaded the app before my next visit.
Here’s the kicker! Cameraman David actually figured out a loophole that gets you an entree AND side for $1. On every Smashburger receipt is an offer for a free side for completing a customer survey. I just assumed I wouldn’t be able to use that offer with the smash pass, but it turns out there are no restrictions for the free side. Just make sure you fill out that survey before your next visit and you can get a full meal for a buck!
I gotta admit, I’m very happy I purchased the Smashburger Holiday Smash Pass. I don’t usually eat out this much, but it really came in handy the past 2 weeks. I’ve already passed the break-even point, so I know I’ve gotten my money’s worth. I doubt I’ll be using it quite as much going forward, but it’ll be good to have when I’m too busy to cook. If they bring back this offer next year, I’d say it’s a must-purchase.
Smashburger is now offering a 36 day extension of the Holiday Smash Pass for $36 and an all new 45 day Smash Pass starting on January 1st for $45. It’ll be interesting to see if Smashburger continues to offer new Smash Passes throughout the year or if they pack this promotion away until the next holiday season. Either way, I’m guessing it was a success for the company. As for me, I’m going to let my Smash Pass expire on January 9th… I’m kind of smashed-out. I still think it’s a great deal, but as the holidays wind down and life gets back to normal I’ll gladly return to preparing my own meals and spend (a lot) less time eating out.