Veteran’s Day has increasingly become an opportunity for restaurant promotions that recognize former and active service members.
While Nov. 11, which falls on Friday this year, has been observed as Armistice Day since the end of World War I in 1919, the growing number of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has heightened public awareness of military personnel.
Restaurants including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Cracker Barrel, McCormick & Schmick’s and Golden Corral, among others, are all honoring the day in different ways.
Applebee’s, the 2,000-unit casual-dining chain based in Lenexa, Kan., has given away more than 2 million meals to U.S. veterans and military personnel over the past two years, and plans to continue the tradition this year.
The chain has also launched an initiative called the Thank You Movement to collect millions of thank-you messages from the public to veterans and active-duty military personnel.
The initiative’s ambassador, country music star Rodney Atkins, launched the Thank You Movement at a concert in New York City’s Times Square on Oct. 25.
Watch a commercial for Applebee's promotion; story continues on next page