Thank You Movement Surpasses 6.7 Million Messages of Appreciation Nationwide; Applebee's Marks Five Years of Thank You Meals by Serving Nearly 1 Million Free Entrees on Veterans Day
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - November 20, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Applebee’s neighborhood of Lindenhurst, NY, will host a free concert by multi-platinum recording artist and Applebee’s Thank You Movement Ambassador Gavin DeGraw after contributing more than 23,000 messages of appreciation for veterans and active duty servicemembers as part of Applebee’s 2013 Veterans Day effort.
Neighborhoods nationwide submitted more than 2 million new messages of "thanks" in Applebee’s restaurants and online at www.thankyoumovement.com as part of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement. DeGraw lent his song, "Soldier," to promote the movement and Applebee’s restaurants’ annual tradition of offering free entrees on Veterans Day for veterans and active duty servicemembers.
"I’m looking forward to celebrating with Lindenhurst," DeGraw said. "I’m thrilled to have been the voice of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement this year and for the opportunity to extend my thanks to our servicemembers for all they have done."
The Lindenhurst Applebee’s, operated by Applebee’s franchise group Doherty Enterprises, served nearly 500 free meals on Veterans Day, a 70 percent increase compared to 2012.
"We’re thrilled to show our support for current and former members of the Armed Forces every year on Veterans Day," said Ed Doherty, Chairman and CEO of Doherty Enterprises, which owns 100 Applebee’s restaurants in four states, "and we appreciate our neighbors in Lindenhurst for helping us earn the title of America’s Most Thankful Neighborhood by sharing their thanks to our military personnel as part of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement."
In three years, the Applebee’s Thank You Movement has surpassed 6.7 million personal messages of thanks toward a goal of collecting messages for each of the 24 million current and former members of our Armed Forces. At www.thankyoumovement.com, visitors can add their thanks and view a live, rolling counter of messages. Veterans and active service members can also visit the site to view the heartfelt thanks of the people they serve.
"I’m incredibly proud that, for 5 years now, so many servicemembers have chosen Applebee’s on Veterans Day as we invite them into our restaurants for a free meal and the privilege of sharing their special day with us," said Mike Archer, president, Applebee’s. "Veterans Day is my favorite day of the year, as Applebee’s Team Members across the country serve those who have so bravely served us. The Thank You Movement is an extension of that appreciation and our opportunity to honor the commitment of our servicemembers year-round."
On Nov. 11, Applebee’s restaurants served nearly 1 million free entrees to veterans and active duty servicemembers across the country. Applebee’s has served nearly 5 million free meals on Veterans Day since beginning the program in 2009.
Applebee’s (www.applebees.com) is the world’s largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Mo., Applebee’s restaurant takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar® is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE:DIN) brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee’s International, Inc. and its affiliates.
Gavin DeGraw is not a stranger to the top of the charts. He first broke through with the 2003 release of his debut album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles: "I Don’t Want To Be," "Follow Through," and the title-track, "Chariot." Gavin’s self-titled second album debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008, earning Gavin his first Top 10 album. It spawned the hit singles "In Love With A Girl," which Billboard dubbed "a rocking homerun," and the gold-certified "We Belong Together." In 2009, Gavin released Free as a gift to his die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of Gavin’s live favorites. DeGraw released his third studio album, Sweeter, in September 2011. The album’s first single, "Not Over You," co-written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, reached #1 on the Hot AC charts, was a top 10 hit on Top 40, and was certified double platinum. DeGraw’s most recent release, Make A Move, was released in October and has since garnered rave reviews. The current single, the title track, is currently climbing the charts. For more information visit www.gavindegraw.com-facebook.com/gavindegraw - twitter: @gavindegraw.