It’s been a few months since Applebee’s served up $1 Bahama mamas in February, and $1 Long Island ice teas made a comeback in June, but did you really think they were done offering up $1 cocktails? Oh, no, no, no. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular drink offers out there, and Applebee’s is bringing back a fan favorite, the $1 margarita, and giving it a fruity upgrade.
For the entire month of August, Applebee’s patrons can order the Strawberry Dollarita served on the rocks in a 10-ounce(!) mug and made with tequila and strawberry and margarita mix. The best part is you can order this refreshing summer cocktail at any hour of the day (during Applebee’s business hours, of course).
“It’s crazy to think that our most popular drink could get any better, but with the addition of strawberry, our guests are going to love how good this Dollarita tastes,” said Patrick Kirk, vice president of beverage innovation at Applebee’s, in a press release. “The Strawberry Dollarita is the perfect way to cool down on those hot August days and enjoy the final days of summer.”
This crazy-cheap cocktail push started last year as a way to help the struggling casual chain stay afloat.
“There’s no secret that casual dining — especially the big chains like Applebee’s — have been challenged,” David Henkes, a senior principal at the food and beverage industry consulting group Technomic, told Eater in December. “Growth has been at a premium, and they’re looking for ways to bring traffic back into the restaurant.
“The general idea is, once you bring [customers] in, then you start to use suggestive selling, and building that check average through getting them to order other things,” Henkes said.
Clearly, cheap drinks are the answer to getting more people — and thirsty ones at that — through the doors.
Dine Brands, which owns Applebee’s, reported restaurant sales growth of 1.3 percent in the last three months of 2017 (around the same time they introduced $1 cocktails) and expected that growth to continue through this year. While sales numbers have yet to be released for 2018, we have to wonder: Does Applebee’s have these discounted cocktails to thank for their increase in sales?
Either way, those strawberry margaritas are calling our name. To those who work behind the bar at Applebee’s, see you soon and good luck keeping up with those drink orders.