We have said time and again that restaurateurs need to continuously create a buzz in the industry in order to consistently stay relevant.
Here’s one example of a lingering buzz that you can do: Applebee’s creates its own buzz as its management and restaurant staff in bib aprons stand up and appreciates the military once again this year, honoring them for their loyalty, sacrifices and courage. The chain has initiated the Thank You Movement, a program that gathers countless thanks for the U.S. Active Duty military and Veterans, and is said to be the world’s largest military appreciation campaign.
Hoping to generate a groundswell of thankfulness for our country’s armed forces, the Thank You Movement encourages people to send their messages of thanks to our veterans and active soldiers through different online platforms: www.thankyoumovement.com, #thankyoumovement on Twitter, Applebee’s Facebook Fan Page, and YouTube.
The Thank You Movement web site intends to host a live rolling counter of Thank You’s that are extended by the American people. This move encourages veterans and active duty troops to go online anytime to see how America is giving back—where they can feel the sincere gratitude of the citizens that they serve.
The chain got country music star Rodney Atkins as their Thank You Movement Ambassador when they launched an impressive concert performance in Times Square. Many civilians, military organizations and veterans, including some representatives from the advocacy groups Pinnacle Five and Disabled American Veterans, joined Atkins as he rolled out the initiative, highlighting on the many reasons why we need to say thank you to our veterans and active military servicemen. The Pinnacle Five is composed of former enlisted leaders of the five branches of the Armed Forces.
“We have to be able to express our deepest gratitude to the military for the services they have rendered to our country,” said Atkins. “We have every minute in our hands to say thank you to them, making sure that we let them know that they are on top of our minds and deep in our hearts all the time.”
Other than the above online platforms, the chain’s staff in quality bib aprons will also be collecting Thank You custom-made cards at participating Applebee’s restaurants all throughout Veterans Day. The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will give-out the cards to veterans and active soldiers to make sure that all Thank You cards are distributed to genuine American heroes. As part of their commitment, the DAV has been working to create improved lives for veterans and their families for more than 90 years now.
The chain has been actively doing this for two consecutive years, serving over two million complimentary thank-you meals on Veterans Day. They will be doing this again in line with their neighborhood tradition on November 11.
Atkins himself has been a great supporter of the U.S. military and their sacrificing families, often visiting with soldiers during his concert tours, doing base concerts and visiting wounded warriors at hospitals like the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In 2012, he plans to participate in the USO tour, an organization that sends musicians and comics to perform for American troops abroad.