Looking into the bar at an Applebee's can be like the world's saddest Edward Hopper oil painting, one that swaps his sharp-dressed Nighthawks for your mom's friends drinking Blue Hawaiians and debating which of them should start selling essential oils. Despite the fact that Applebee's technically is a bar—it's right there in the chain's friggin' full name—most people tend to either ignore or overlook that, or just don't consider it their go-to destination for getting shitfaced.
Applebee's is making an effort to change that, at least for the next three-plus weeks. It has just launched "Applebee's Neighborhood Appreciation Month," which means that, for the rest of October, its margaritas will be $1 each. That's right—you can get a full-sized alcoholic beverage cheaper than you can get a Diet Coke out of the office vending machine.
We're talking deals, deals, tequila-based deals—and people are down.
"We focus on our food a lot, but 'bar' is in our name, and it is an integral part of what makes Applebee's a great neighborhood destination," Patrick Kirk, Applebee's vice president of beverage innovation, said in a statement. "Our $1 margaritas in October give us a chance to show our guests a little love, giving them a totally unbeatable offer as a gesture of our sincere appreciation for their patronage."
The restaurant would also sincerely appreciate if you didn't throw up on its collection of high school lacrosse memorabilia. Regardless, these on-the-rocks Dollaritas—their word, not ours—are available from open until close at participating restaurants, and the deal presumably runs until the last minute of October 31.
"We know there is a lot of competition with pumpkin spice everything in October, and we decided to break out from the clutter and spotlight the margarita in honor of our very own Neighborhood Appreciation Month," Kirk told MUNCHIES. "Bar is in our DNA and while we do put a lot of emphasis on our food, we wanted to remind people that we're also a great destination to bring people together to watch the game, enjoy happy hour or commemorate any occasion big or small."
In August, Applebee's more or less admitted that it had given up on attracting Millennials, and would instead be returning its focus to "routine traditionalists" and "value seekers." In a late summer call with investors, Applebee's brand president John Cywinski said that the chain's brief flirtation with under-30s and demographic groups who don't take photos with their iPads "created confusion" among their core customers.
On the surface, this Dollarita promotion seems like an extension of that attitude—but with the response seemingly very good among non-regulars, they may have inadvertently found a way to attract new, loyal, Instagram-loving customers.
Either way, your mom's friends are psyched.