November 11, 2010, - 2:26 pm

Applebee’s Clever Veterans Day Moneymaker

By Debbie Schlussel

In honor of today’s Veterans Day, a number of major retailing and restaurant chains across America are offering freebies to veterans of and those currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Sam’s Club, for example, is offering a free Hugo folding cane to vets (which continues through Friday, while supplies last).


Applebee’s Veterans Day: The Meal is Free for Vets & Active Duty; Drinks Aren’t.

Another is Applebee’s restaurant chain, which is offering veterans and active military personnel free meals.  Sounds generous, but it’s actually a clever marketing ploy.  While the food is free, the drinks aren’t.  And drinks are where most restaurants make the highest profit margin.  It’s where the money is.  I doubt most vets will order water, but those who do are really the only ones getting the free ride.  (Tips aren’t included, either.  But that is legit and always the domain of the customer.)  Denny’s does the same thing with their free Grand Slam breakfast advertised during the Superbowl.  The restaurant charges for drinks.

Bottom line:  Applebee’s makes money and looks good in the eyes of veterans and patriots.  Very smart move.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

10 Responses

Well, it’s cool with me as I am just having a Coke when I go there later today. Thanks Applebee’s!

John on November 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Still, as long as they aren’t going for liquor, they can get a decent $15-20 meal for $2-4 in sodas. Sounds like a good deal all around.

Brian R. on November 11, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Um, lessee. $2 for a Coke, refills free. $10 for a meal. How do you figure the math on your assertion they make their money on drinks? Looks to me like Applebee’s makes more on the food, since it’s a restaurant and not a bar. Regardless of their reasons for doing it, I think it’s a very patriotic move and not based on the bottom line. let’s not get too cynical here Deb.

Pat on November 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

The lines at the Applebee’s for the free meals are too long. Ask yourself how long would you wait for a free meal? An hour? Two? I appreciate Applebee’s doing this for the veterans (and for the good pub for themselves), but my time is too valuable (Oh, did I mention that I have no patience?). I don’t even have time for fast food. Happy Veterans’ Day! Love you DS!

David on November 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Debbie I can’t agree with you. I if was a Vet I would gladly take a free meal for the price of my drinks. Applebee’s is a fine establishment and go during Happy Hour and now you got a great deal. And if the lines are too busy at Applebee’s I hear Hooter’s has a free meal for Vet’s and active duty military.

It also is nice to see many places competing for Veterans by having all these specials.

CaliforniaScreaming on November 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I’ll go to Hooters only if they offer free motor-boating of the waitresses.

My time is worth much more than standing in line for 4-6 hours for a free meal worth about $9.95.

united states of sharia on November 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

We went to Chili’s as they had the free meal for active duty and veterans. Hubby is retired military. PLace was full but no line at lunch time.

He had the always Old timer burger and a lemonade. He said it was GREAT! I had the soup and sandwich.. dang they have a really good chicken and green chili soup!! SPICEY.

Thanx, CHILI’s.

We go there often anyway and the grandkids love the pizza kids meal… it as a real BIG cheese pizza for the little guys.

Sewsalot on November 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Did Chili’s on 11/11 (had water and left a $5 tip) and will enjoy Golden Corral on 11/15 – where EVERYTHING is included (including long lines) for free, for vets.

Manfred on November 12, 2010 at 8:59 am

I typically don’t drink any beverage with meals, preferring to sluice down a quart or so of milk (whole milk, not that pussy 2% crap) about 30 minutes after eating. If I’ve dined at a restaurant, that’d be around the time I get home. 🙂

Graty Slapchop on November 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Where to get a used car loan for high mileage car?

Itsblackout on February 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Leave a Reply

* denotes required field