Friday, November 6, 2009
Applebee's Remembrance Day promotion: buy three, get one free!
Pass the freedom fries.
Applebee's Canada is offering Canadian veterans a Remembrance Day promotion aimed at the heart. Yet there's something about it that may not sit well with the stomach.
The promotion: show proof of your military service on Remembrance Day, and you can select one of six Applebee's signature entrees for free.
Seems like a nice idea on the surface, until you stop to think about it: is this simply a nice way to say thanks to veterans, a cynical attempt at building brand image by associating a family restaurant with military heroism, or a little of both?
The devil is in the details: to get the free entree, you need to show military ID, show up in uniform, or have a photograph with you in which you appear in military uniform. Further, the promotion is at "participating restaurants," "from a limited menu only," and "beverages and gratuity are not included."
Maybe I've just grown jaded and cynical in my medium age, but it also occurs to me that, at a time when family restaurants are hurting for business, giving away one free meal for a promotion clearly marketed to families (see the above screen capture from the Applebee's Canada website) is literally the very least you can do to say "thanks" to our veterans.
Maybe it's just me, but I always thought that the best way a business could honor veterans on Remembrance Day is to close for the day. Quaint.