Applebee’s, Outback, Red Robin and many more restaurants have stepped up to the plate (pun intended) to honor our nation’s veterans and active duty military personnel in honor of Veterans Day. Restaurants across the nation offered up free meals on Nov. 11 with several restaurants continuing to offer free food again today.


A special Veterans Day menu was used at Applebee’s. Veterans and active duty military personnel were able to choose one free signature entrée. Choices included three-cheese chicken penne, an oriental chicken salad and a bacon cheddar cheeseburger. Although statistics aren’t yet available for this year’s promotional event, last year Applebee’s served more than 1 million military customers.


The Veterans Day special at Outback Steakhouse continues today. Veterans and active duty members can receive a free Bloomin’ Onion appetizer and a Coca-Cola at participating Outback locations. In addition to the free appetizer and drink, military personnel who take advantage of this offer will also receive a Military Mates card, which is good for a 10 percent discount at Outback from Nov. 13 through Dec. 31, 2012.


Red Robin is also honoring veterans with a free food offer today. As part of the Heinz "Our Turn to Serve" campaign, veterans and active duty members of the military can enjoy a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and Bottomless Steak Fries to guests who show a valid military ID.


Red Robin customers can also scan a QR code found on specially marked bottles of Heinz ketchup to send a thank you to the military. Heinz will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project for each thank you sent, up to $250,000.


In addition to Applebee’s, Outback and Red Robin, many other restaurants offered up free deals yesterday including Olive Garden, Little Caesar’s, Krispy Kreme and Hooters.


I’m not a restaurateur, but I can say thank you to all of our veterans and active duty military personnel who have served our country.


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