KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Building on Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar®’s annual tradition of serving free meals to current and former servicemembers on Veterans Day, Applebee’s today announced a partnership with the veterans service organization The Mission Continues to promote veteran-led community service year-round in neighborhoods throughout the country.
Additionally, Applebee’s today named multi-platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw the 2013 Voice of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement, the nation’s largest ongoing military appreciation effort, and announced plans for a concert featuring Gavin DeGraw in America’s “Most Thankful Neighborhood.”
“We owe so much to our servicemembers, and we’re honored to show our gratitude by serving free meals to our military heroes every year on Veterans Day,” said Applebee’s President Mike Archer. “By partnering with The Mission Continues, we look forward to connecting the newest generation of veterans with our Guests and Team Members to continue their service and make a meaningful impact in our neighborhoods throughout the country every day.”
Applebee’s Thank You Movement
Since creating the Thank You Movement in 2011 to collect messages of appreciation for each of the 24 million current and former members of our Armed Forces, Applebee’s has received more than 4.5 million personal Thank You messages through the Thank You Movement website: www.thankyoumovement.com.
This year, Gavin DeGraw, a platinum singer-songwriter, lends his song, “Soldier,” to national advertising in support of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement.
“I’m happy to be part of the Applebee’s Thank You Movement and extend my thanks to our servicemembers for all they have done,” said Gavin DeGraw. “They are the definition of selflessness, dedication, devotion and sacrifice. Please join me in thanking our heroes by sending a ‘Thank You’ message.”
Visitors to the Thank You Movement website will be directed to their local Applebee’s Facebook page, where personal Thank You messages will be tallied by neighborhood and tracked in real time on the Thank You Movement website. On Veterans Day, the Applebee’s community with the most Thank You messages will be declared the Most Thankful Neighborhood and win a concert for veterans from Gavin DeGraw in their city. Guests can also submit Thank You messages by using the hashtag #ThankYouMovement on www.facebook.com/applebees, @applebees on Twitter or on Instagram and YouTube.
The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways through two innovative and action-oriented programs. The first, The Mission Continues Fellowship, harnesses veterans’ strengths, skills and compassion and empowers them to serve in their community on a daily basis over the course of six months. The second, The Mission Continues Service Platoons, brings together teams of veterans with local community organizations and volunteers to build stronger communities. The Mission Continues has helped thousands of post-9/11 veterans focus their talents and energy to tackle challenges facing us right here at home.
Service events take place in communities where veterans partner with schools, food banks and veterans’ homes that are in need of help. Applebee’s Guests can learn about the work being done by The Mission Continues veterans and how to participate in local community service projects through in-restaurant displays at their participating neighborhood Applebee’s restaurant.
“Veterans who report for duty with The Mission Continues are driven to serve others,” said Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL and CEO and founder of The Mission Continues. “We’re proud to partner with Applebee’s to share with their millions of Guests how veterans continue to serve their local neighborhoods here at home.”
Applebee’s Thank You Meals
On Monday, Nov. 11, veterans and active duty military can choose from a free Thank You Meal menu that includes some of Applebee’s signature and favorite items, including the:
- 7 oz. House Sirloin
- Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger
- Three-Cheese Chicken & Sundried Tomato Penne
- Fiesta Lime Chicken®
- Double Crunch Shrimp
- Chicken Tenders Platter
- Oriental Chicken Salad
Guests will need to provide proof of service, which includes: U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing uniform, DD214, Citation or Commendation.
Offer is valid for dine-in only. Traditional sides are included with free entrees; 2 for $20 appetizers, upgraded side items or extras, beverages, desserts and gratuity are not included. Applebee’s Thank You Meals will be offered during normal business hours on Monday, Nov. 11. Hours vary by location, so Guests should call their local Applebee’s restaurant in advance to inquire about specific location hours. Applebee’s encourages Guests to call their local Applebee’s or visit www.applebees.com for more information.
About Applebee’s International, Inc.
Applebee’s (www.applebees.com) is the world’s largest casual dining chain, with approximately 2,000 locations in 49 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory. Based in Kansas City, Mo., Applebee’s takes pride in providing a welcoming, neighborhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar® is a DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee’s International, Inc. and its affiliates.
About The Mission Continues
The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways through two innovative and action-oriented programs. The first, The Mission Continues Fellowship harnesses veterans’ strengths, skills and compassion and empowers them to serve in their community on a daily basis over the course of six months. The second, The Mission Continues Service Platoons brings together teams of veterans with local community organizations and volunteers to build stronger communities. The Mission Continues has helped thousands of post-9/11 veterans focus their talents and energy to tackle challenges facing us right here at home. Through a unique model that provides reciprocal benefit for the veteran and the local community, veterans volunteer to help others and, through their service, build new skills that help them launch their civilian career. To learn more, visit: www.missioncontinues.org or follow us on Twitter @missioncontinue.
About Gavin DeGraw
Gavin DeGraw is not a stranger to the top of the charts. He first broke through with the 2003 release of his debut album, Chariot, which sold over a million copies, earned platinum certification, and yielded three hit singles: “I Don’t Want To Be,” “Follow Through,” and the title-track, “Chariot.” Gavin’s self-titled second album debuted at No. 1 on the digital sales chart and at No. 7 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart in 2008, earning Gavin his first Top 10 album. It spawned the hit singles “In Love With A Girl,” which Billboard dubbed “a rocking homerun,” and the gold-certified “We Belong Together.” In 2009, Gavin released Free as a gift to his die-hard fans clamoring for recorded versions of Gavin’s live favorites. DeGraw released his third studio album, Sweeter, in September 2011. The album’s first single, “Not Over You,” co-written with OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, reached #1 on the Hot AC charts, was a top 10 hit on Top 40, and was certified double platinum. On October 15th Gavin will release his new album, Make A Move, which features the hit song “Best I Ever Had.” For more information visit www.gavindegraw.com - facebook.com/gavindegraw - twitter: @gavindegraw.