Looking for restaurants that accept EBT card payments or food stamps? Check out this extensive list of fast food restaurants accepting SNAP benefits in different states of the United States.
Food insecurity is a reality for millions of people in the United States. Not having access to healthy and affordable food can be an obstacle to a person’s health and overall quality of life.
Thankfully, there are ways to make food more accessible for those in need, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, which can be used to purchase food at participating restaurants.
In this blog post, we explore the restaurants that accept EBT (SNAP) benefits, and the importance of these establishments for those who need them most.
Through this information, we hope to raise awareness of the importance of supporting restaurants that accept EBT food stamps, and the impact that these establishments have on the lives of those in need.
So, let’s get started…
What is the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)?
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a state-run program that allows certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase prepared meals at authorized restaurants using their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
The program is designed to provide assistance to those who are elderly, homeless, or disabled and may not be able to prepare meals for themselves.
In order to qualify for the RMP, individuals must meet the eligibility requirements of their state’s SNAP program and have an EBT card.
Once approved, they can use their EBT card at participating restaurants to purchase hot and healthy meals. The amount of the meal purchased will be deducted from their SNAP benefits balance.
Which Restaurants Can Accept EBT Payments?
Restaurants that participate in the USDA’s Restaurant Meals Program are authorized to accept EBT payments.
The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which allows eligible participants to use their EBT cards at participating restaurants.
This program aims to provide more diverse and nutritious meal options for the elderly, disabled, and homeless SNAP recipients who may have difficulty preparing meals at home.
It’s essential to note that not all states participate in the RMP, and even within participating states, the availability of the program may vary from county to county.
What Types of Restaurants Accept EBT Payments?
The types of restaurants that accept EBT payments through the RMP are typically those that offer affordable and nutritious meals.
These may include:
- Fast-food chains: Some fast-food restaurants like Subway, Taco Bell, and Burger King participate in the RMP in certain locations.
- Local eateries: Smaller, local restaurants may also accept EBT payments, especially if they cater to low-income communities.
- Food trucks: In some areas, food trucks may be authorized to accept EBT payments for prepared meals.
- Cafeterias and buffets: Certain cafeterias and buffet-style restaurants may also participate in the RMP.
Keep in mind that not every location of a participating restaurant chain will necessarily accept EBT payments. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and ask if a specific location accepts EBT before planning your meal there.
List of 15+ Popular Restaurants that Accept EBT
There are some popular restaurant chains that may accept EBT payments through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) in participating areas.
Keep in mind that not every location of these chains will accept EBT, so it’s always best to call ahead and confirm.
Here are a few well-known restaurants that allow EBT payments in certain locations:
- Subway: Known for its foot-long sandwiches, Subway has over 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Subway accepts EBT cards in Arizona, California, and Rhode Island for their sandwiches and salads.
- Taco Bell: Founded in 1962, Taco Bell has over 7,000 locations in the U.S. Taco Bell is another popular fast-food chain that participates in the RMP in some areas (Arizona and California), offering affordable meal options.
- Burger King: The second largest hamburger chain in the U.S., with more than 18,700 locations in over 100 countries. Burger King accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California for their burgers, fries, and other menu items.
- Pizza Hut: Some Pizza Hut locations may accept EBT payments for their pizzas, especially in California.
- Papa Murphy’s: In certain areas, Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza may be eligible for EBT payment, as the pizza is not cooked on-site.
- KFC: A limited number of KFC locations (Arizona and California. Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia) accept EBT payments for their fried chicken meals.
- Jack in the Box: Some Jack in the Box locations (California) accept EBT payments for their fast-food menu items.
- Domino’s: Initially called DomNick’s and rebranded as Domino’s in 1965, this pizza chain has over 14,400 locations in more than 85 countries. Domino’s accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California for their pizzas.
- El Pollo Loco: Opened in 1980, El Pollo Loco operates close to 500 locations across the U.S. El Pollo Loco, known for its flame-grilled chicken, may accept EBT at select locations within participating states ( Arizona and California).
- Carl’s Jr.: Founded in 1941, Carl’s Jr. has more than 1,000 locations across the U.S. and operates in 28 countries. This chain accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California for their burgers, fries, and other menu items.
- Del Taco: Del Taco, a fast-food chain serving Mexican cuisine, may participate in the RMP in some locations.
- Wienerschnitzel: Wienerschnitzel, a popular hot dog chain, has been reported to accept EBT payments at some branches within participating states.
- Papa John’s: A limited number of Papa John’s pizza locations may accept EBT payments, particularly in California.
- Church’s Chicken: Church’s Chicken might accept EBT payments for their fried chicken meals in select locations.
- Little Caesars: Founded by Mike and Marian in Garden City, Michigan, Little Caesars has grown to over 4,000 locations in the U.S. Only a few locations in San Diego, California accept EBT cards for their pizzas.
- Wendy’s: Wendy’s may accept EBT payments at some locations through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) in participating states and counties (California).
- Popeye’s: A beloved fried chicken chain that originated in Louisiana, Popeye’s accepts EBT cards in Arizona and California, as well as in select cities and counties in Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
- McDonald’s: One of the most famous fast-food chains worldwide, McDonald’s accepts EBT cards in Arizona, California, and Michigan.
Restaurants That Accept Food Stamps (SNAP Benefits) from Anyone
Most fast-food restaurants that accept EBT do so through the Restaurant Meals Program. But few outliers may accept SNAP benefits from anyone, although they are very few.
It includes –
Papa Murphy’s Take & Bake Pizzas accept EBT or food stamp benefits from anyone due to the unique nature of their product.
Since the pizzas are uncooked at the point of sale, they are considered similar to purchasing frozen food items like DiGiorno pizzas from a grocery store.
As a result, Papa Murphy’s pizzas are categorized as eligible food items under the SNAP program.
In addition to pizzas, customers can also use their EBT benefits to buy other edible food items sold by Papa Murphy’s, such as salads, cookie dough, and sodas.
With over 1,150 locations across the United States, all Papa Murphy’s locations accept EBT benefits.
To purchase Papa Murphy’s products using your EBT card, you can place your order in-store, over the phone, or online.
However, if you choose to place an online order, you will need to pay in person with your EBT card at the time of pickup.
This option is available to all SNAP recipients, not just those who are part of the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), as the pizzas are uncooked and meant to be prepared at home.
Other Take & Bake Pizzerias and Convenience Stores
In addition to Papa Murphy’s, there are other take-and-bake pizzerias, locally-owned restaurants, and stores like 7-Eleven that may accept EBT cards from anyone for the purchase of cold food items.
These establishments typically offer uncooked or cold food items like take-and-bake pizzas, which are considered eligible under the SNAP program.
List of Restaurants that do not Accept EBT
Below is the list of restaurants that do not take EBT payments or food stamp even in the RMP participating states –
- A&W Restaurants
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Einstein Bros. Bagels
- Five Guys
- In-N-Out Burger
- Krispy Kreme
- Long John Silver’s
- Panda Express
- Panera Bread
- Qdoba Mexican Grill
- Shake Shack
- Tim Hortons
These are some popular names, surely there are more than these eateries which don’t take EBT card payments. Hence, confirm it with the restaurant in advance before you make any purchase.
Where are the Restaurants Located that Process EBT Payments?
Restaurants that process EBT payments are generally part of the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which allows specific groups of SNAP recipients, to use their benefits at participating restaurants.
Below are 11 states in which restaurants allow SNAP recipients to purchasing meals with EBT –
- New York
- Rhode Island
Take note that SNAP-authorized restaurants process EBT payments only in specific cities or counties of these states.
List of States that are not Participating RMP
As of January 3, 2023, the below states are not participating in the Restaurant Meals Program. Nevertheless, they do offer other EBT discounts, freebies, and programs that might be useful for you.
- Iowa (ended February 2001)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
How to Find Fast Food Restaurants That Accept EBT Near Me?
To find restaurants in your area that accept EBT payments, you can –
- Contact your local SNAP office: They should have a list of participating restaurants and can provide guidance on eligibility and usage.
- Search online: Websites like SNAP Retailer Locator can help you find participating retailers and restaurants in your area.
- Ask at the restaurant: If you’re unsure whether a restaurant accepts EBT payments, don’t hesitate to ask a staff member.
How to Use Your EBT Card at a Restaurant?
The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program of food stamp is a government initiative that assists low-income individuals and families to help them purchase food and other essential items.
While EBT cards are commonly used at grocery stores and farmers’ markets, many people are unaware that they can also be used at select restaurants.
Below are some ways you can use your EBT card at a restaurant, ensuring that you make the most of your benefits while enjoying a meal outside your home.
Check for Eligibility
Not all restaurants accept EBT cards, so it’s crucial to determine if the restaurant you plan to visit is authorized to participate in the EBT program.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the EBT program, and they maintain a comprehensive list of approved restaurants on their website.
You can also call your local EBT customer service hotline to inquire about specific restaurant eligibility.
Locate Participating Restaurants
Once you have confirmed the eligibility of a restaurant, the next step is to find EBT-participating restaurants in your area.
You can visit the USDA’s website and use their restaurant locator tool to search for authorized establishments near you.
Some states and local agencies maintain their own lists or databases, so it’s worth checking those as well.
Understand Restaurant Limitations
It’s important to note that there are certain limitations when using your EBT card at a restaurant.
Firstly, EBT benefits can only be used for purchasing eligible, prepared meals. This means you cannot use your card for alcohol, tobacco, or any non-food items.
Secondly, EBT benefits can only be used for meals consumed on-site. Takeout or delivery orders are generally not eligible, although some states have introduced pilot programs to allow these options during specific circumstances such as natural disasters.
Ordering and Paying at the Restaurant
When you visit an EBT-participating restaurant, inform the server that you intend to use your EBT card for payment.
Most restaurants will have a specific process in place to handle EBT transactions. Typically, you will be required to provide your EBT card to the server, who will swipe it through a point-of-sale (POS) device to deduct the purchase amount from your EBT account.
In some cases, you may be issued a separate payment receipt for your records.
Check Your Balance Regularly
Keeping track of your EBT card balance is crucial to managing your benefits effectively. After each transaction, the restaurant should provide you with a receipt indicating the remaining balance on your card.
You can even check your EBT account balance by calling the customer service number provided on the back of your card or by visiting your state’s EBT website.
Familiarize Yourself with Local Rules and Policies
EBT program rules and policies may vary from state to state regarding eligible restaurants, meal restrictions, and payment processes.
Therefore, it’s advisable to consult your state’s EBT website or contact your local EBT customer service for accurate and up-to-date information.
What Foods Can You Buy with an EBT Card at a Restaurant?
The types of food that can be purchased with an EBT card vary by state, but typically include hot meals and prepared foods such as sandwiches and salads.
Below is the list of food that can be purchased with an EBT card, SNAP benefits can generally be used to buy:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Meat, poultry, and fish
- Dairy products
- Breads and cereals
- Snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages
- Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat
However, certain items are restricted such as –
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store)
- Foods that are hot at the point of sale
- Nonfood items such as pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies, or hygiene items and cosmetics
FAQs about Restaurants that Take EBT
Are there any Restaurants that Accept EBT?
Yes, there are over 500+ restaurants that take EBT through the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which is available for specific groups of SNAP recipients like the elderly, disabled, and homeless. However, the RMP’s availability varies by state, county, and individual restaurant. To find participating restaurants, contact your local SNAP office or use the SNAP Retailer Locator.
Can you use EBT for fast food in NY?
Yes, with the enactment of the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) in New York State in October 2021, eligible SNAP recipients can use their EBT benefits for fast food purchases in NY. However, it’s essential to check with individual fast food establishments to confirm their participation in the RMP before attempting to use your EBT card.
Does McDonald’s Take EBT in NY?
In New York, McDonald’s may accept EBT for eligible individuals who qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) or receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or SNAP benefits. However, participation varies by location, so it’s essential to check with your local McDonald’s to confirm if they accept EBT as a payment method.
Can you Buy Hot Food with EBT Card?
Typically, you cannot buy hot or prepared food items prepared to be eaten in-store with an EBT card. However, if you are an eligible participant in the RMP – which caters to specific groups like the elderly, disabled, and homeless – you may be able to use your EBT card to purchase hot meals at participating restaurants.
Are there any Fast Food Restaurants that Accept EBT?
Yes, certain fast food restaurants (Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, etc) do accept EBT cards, but this is typically limited to states that participate in the RMP.
Can EBT be Used at Restaurants?
EBT or Food Stamp benefits can be used at restaurants in states that participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.
Is it Legal to use EBT Card at Restaurants?
Yes, it is legal to use your EBT card at restaurants if your state participates in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and you are an eligible SNAP recipient.
Do Restaurants Charge any Tax for Meals bought with EBT?
No, purchases made with EBT cards, including meals from restaurants participating in the Restaurant Meals Program, are not subject to sales tax. This is because Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are a federal assistance program, and items purchased with federal food assistance are not taxable.
Can I use my EBT Benefits at Restaurants in other States?
No, EBT benefits cannot be used at restaurants in other states. The Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is state-specific. You can only use your EBT card at approved restaurants in your home state, and out-of-state usage depends on each state’s RMP participation and policies.
In conclusion, Restaurants that Accept EBT can be found in various states across the US. Through programs like the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), eligible SNAP recipients may be able to use their EBT benefits at fast food restaurants.
However, it is essential to contact them beforehand to confirm participation in these programs before attempting a purchase with an EBT card.
By researching which restaurants accept EBT food stamps, you are sure to find one near you that will help make your dining experience more cost-effective and convenient.