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With record-breaking cold, Runzas were free Tuesday

With record-breaking cold, Runzas were free Tuesday

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Another cold Tuesday, another free Runza sandwich.

Tuesday morning’s high temperature of minus 23 led to rolling blackouts and school cancellations across Omaha. It also brought droves of people to Runza restaurants for “Temperature Tuesday.”

During the popular promotion in January and February, the temperature at 6 a.m. is the price of a Runza sandwich — when purchased with a medium order of french fries and a medium drink.

Tuesday’s below-zero temps meant free Runza sandwiches, which are warm buns stuffed with seasoned beef, cabbage and onions.

The Nebraska-based restaurant chain has offered the Temperature Tuesday promotion since 2010.

Merlin Pedersen of Omaha was among those who braved the cold for a Runza. The 58-year-old skipped the drive-thru line that wrapped around the Runza parking lot at 4713 S 77th St. about 4:30 p.m. and went inside to order.

“I go every Tuesday,” he said. “We love Runza anyway, but it’s a great deal.”

Runza’s official Instagram account noted early Tuesday that controlled power outages across multiple states, which were implemented to deal with high electrical demand spurred by record cold, may impact restaurants.

“Our employees will do their best to re-open as quickly as possible,” the post said.

Neither the Ralston Runza nor the Runza near 72nd and Pacific Streets was affected, employees at the locations said.

And things seemed to be running smoothly about 5 p.m. at the Runza at 5051 Center St., with a steady line of cars rolling through the parking lot, cold drivers eager to warm up with a free Nebraska staple.

Last Tuesday, the chain said it sold more than 83,000 Runza sandwiches as part of its “Temperature Tuesday” promotion. Feb. 9 set a “new record in a big way,” according to Runza's Instagram account.

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