LENEXA, KS (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- More than 1,000,000 members of the military spent Veterans Day at their neighborhood Applebee's Grill & Bar yesterday, enjoying friends, family -- and a free entree. Applebee's saluted veterans and active duty military for their service and sacrifice by honoring them with free food in all of the nearly 1,900 restaurants across the nation. "Applebee's is honored to have played a role in this national day of respect and remembrance," said Mike Archer, president, Applebee's Services, Inc. "We are proud to lead the way in saluting veterans on their day of honor."
In most of the nearly 1,900 neighborhood Applebee's, lines formed before the doors opened, tables were packed, and members of the military met with old friends and made new ones.
"All day, veterans and active-duty from across generations shared stories from their time in the service," said Sam Rothschild, senior vice president of operations, Applebee's. "The day turned into a military reunion at Applebee's in neighborhoods across the country. We're proud to have opened our doors for the brave men and women of the military."
After the meal, guests visited Applebee's online neighborhood at facebook and commented on the experience:
"I waited in line at the Applebee's in Dover for about 10 minutes and I was seated at the bar as I was alone. My solitude ended immediately since I was surrounded by many military peeps some still serving in the Air Force, and Navy at DAFB. Applebee's fed me like my mother would if she was providing the meal. We had a wonderful time thanks to Applebee's!!!" Jim B. -- Dover, Delaware.
"As a Vet, I was able to join a Vietnam Vet and share stories while sitting 5 feet from a World War II vet. It was a once in a lifetime experience that would not have taken place without your kindness." Marcia S. -- Greensville, South Carolina.
Military personnel could select from six of Applebee's top menu items. The most popular item? Applebee's 7 oz. House Sirloin. More than 410,000 vets and active duty military enjoyed a steak on the house as thanks for their service. In second place, behind the Applebee's sirloin was the Fire Pit Bacon Cheeseburger, with more than 250,000 veterans and active duty military selecting it. Third place? Three Cheese Chicken Penne.
Applebee's Services, Inc. and its affiliates, franchise and operate restaurants under Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand. As of June 30, 2009, there were 1,994 Applebee's restaurants operating system-wide in 49 states, 16 international countries and one U.S. territory, of which 400 were company-owned. Additional information on Applebee's can be found at the company's website.
SOURCE: Applebee's Services, Inc.