Every Veterans Day since 2008, Applebee's restaurants have been thanking veterans for their service by giving them a free meal. It's so popular that it's one of Applebee's busiest days of the year.
Since 2008, Applebee's has given away over 8.9 million free meals to veterans and active duty military! This year, they expect to serve around 1 million more.
Applebee's is just one of many restaurants that give out free meals on Veterans Day. Some of the more popular restaurants include Red Lobster, Denny's, Chili's, T.G.I. Friday's, Red Robin, Outback Steakhouse, Texas Roadhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse, IHOP, BJ's, Olive Garden, and Golden Corral.
Tip: Restaurants aren't the only places giving out Veterans Day deals this year. See my list of Veterans Day Freebies and Discounts to find which businesses are handing out retail discounts, free zoo admission, free car washes, and more.
When Veterans Can Get Their Free Meal at Applebee's
Applebee's serves their free meals on Veterans Day, which this year is on Sunday, November 11. The offer is valid on this day only, from when they open to when they close their doors.
Though over 1,800 Applebee's locations are participating in 2018, we suggest calling ahead to your local Applebee's before you head out just to verify that yours is as well.
Who's Eligible for the Applebee's Free Meal for Veterans
Some restaurants let guests or family members participate in the free Veterans Day meal, but this year at Applebee's, only veterans and active duty military members are invited to get the Veterans Day free meal.
Applebee's Special Veterans Day Menu
Applebee's has a special Veterans Day menu that's built especially for Veterans Day. One item can be chosen from this menu:
- Classic Bacon Cheeseburger
- 6 oz. USDA Select Top Sirloin
- Chicken Tenders Platter
- Double Crunch Shrimp
- Fiesta Lime Chicken
- Oriental Grilled Chicken Salad
- Oriental Chicken Salad
- Three-Cheese Chicken Penne
What You Need to Take With You to Applebee's
If you're a veteran or active duty military, you'll need to bring proof of military service in order to pick something off the special Veterans Day menu.
Proof of service may include any of the following:
- U.S. Uniformed Services ID Card
- U.S. Uniformed Service Retired ID Card
- Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
- Veterans Organization Card (such as American Legion or VFW)
- Photograph of yourself in uniform
- Wear your uniform
- Citation or commendation
Only one of these is required for your free meal. If you don't have any identification, I suggest calling the Applebee's you plan on visiting before you head out on Sunday and ask if there's something else you could bring as proof of service — they may or may not be able to work with you.
Applebee's Veterans Day Restrictions
The free Veterans Day meal from Applebee's is limited to participating Applebee's (remember to call ahead to see if your location is having this free meal), and is only valid for one day: Sunday, November 11, 2018.
The free meal at Applebee's is for dine-in only at most locations, so you can't just stop by, order, and take your meal with you. This Veterans Day free meal is also restricted to the menu items you see listed above. Beverages and gratuity are not included with this meal.