applebees
Applebee's
Do you want to know how to get your business on the news? Here is one, powerful idea: Offering free products or services in honour of those who fight for your country.

Applebee’s, one of the largest casual dining franchise in the world, celebrates US’ Veterans Day 2010 by serving free meals for the armed forces veterans.

Today – November 11, 2010 – Applebee’s expects to serve more than one million meals as an appreciation to the veterans. This offer is valid on participating Applebee’s locations, nationwide – please check on Applebees.com for more details.

applebees veterans day 2010
Applebee's promo banner

What’s on the menu? Bacon cheeseburger, chicken tenders platter, 7 oz. house sirloin, etc. – nice. Of course, to get the free meal, veterans should present a proof of military service. That’s it!

Lessons learned

Offering your products and/or services for free will always attract buzz, especially if your business network is huge. I’ve personally done this before with my business, and the results are great – of course, this can’t be translated into profits (right away,) but the impact on your business brand reputation is fantastic.

Coverages are already coming from major media, both online and off line. Off line, the freebies generate buzz via word of mouth – expect busy, if not fully-packed Applebee’s restaurant nationwide; online, Applebee’s offer hits the search engines as one of the top trends, along mentions on news sites and blogs.

In term of promoting the cause, Applebee’s is using the social media to promote the free veterans day meals – you can post on your Facebook and Twitter account, along with “invite a veteran” via email and press releases on PR sites. This in itself generates viral effects for the benefits of Applebee’s and the veterans.

Indeed, Applebee’s has set a standard among other restaurant franchises. Giving back to the community is what every business should do. There are plenty of benefits of giving back, which include free publications, but the most important thing is the appreciation to those doing great things for your country.

Lessons well learned. Happy Veterans Day 2010!

Ivan Widjaya
Buzz maker