Each year in honor of Veterans Day, retailers, restaurants, and even a number of hotels use the mid-November holiday as a way to show their thanks for the sacrifices made by current and former military personnel. Whether it’s a free side of bottomless steak fries and some pop, or a complimentary stay at select bed and breakfasts, it’s a small way that business can show their appreciation and give thanks to veterans on and around Nov. 11.
We know you don’t always like to be thanked for your service, but let’s be honest: It’s just plain foolish to forgo free grub and a night out, so with that, here’s a round-up of 17 special deals in honor of current and former service members this Veterans Day.
For the tenth year in a row, active-duty military and veterans can receive a free meal from a select menu at Applebee’s locations across the country on Nov. 11. And if you really want to get your ‘Murica on, there’s a burger on that list called “The American Standard.”
Getting in on the mil-theme, Bonefish Grill is offering a free order of its “Bang Bang” shrimp to military vets in uniform or with valid ID.
Bed and Breakfast Inns in the U.S. and Canada
B & Bs in the United States and Canada are offering a free stay for military veterans and service members on and around Veterans Day. A full list of available locations and dates can be found here. Perfect for when that inevitable patriotism-fueled food coma hits and you need a place to crash in comfort.
Black Angus Steakhouse
Troops and vets get an eight-ounce sirloin steak with home-style mashed potatoes, broccoli with garlic butter and a beverage for $9.99 starting at 3 p.m. on Veterans Day. Nothing says “thank you” like red meat and vegetables drenched in butter.
On Nov. 11, Bob Evans restaurants across the country will offer a free meal from a select menu. With starch and meat accounting for every item, you might want to fast beforehand, especially if you’ve got other stops on your list.
Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings is offering veterans and military one small order of boneless wings and a side of fries at participating locations (dine-in only). But the deal requires a valid military ID, DD-214, or just a photo of yourself in military uniform. (Definitely an iron-clad screening process.)
Carrabba’s Italian Grill
For those still in the military, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is offering a free appetizer on Nov. 11, so long as you show your military ID, or head into town in uniform — but it’s your day off, so who’s going to do that, really?
Chevys Fresh Mex
This Veterans Day, Chevys will dish out a three-item combo which includes three of the following: enchiladas, tamales, chile relleno, tacos, or crispy chicken flautas. All you have to do is show up with either a valid military or Veteran Affairs ID; a current leave and earnings statement; a Veterans Service Organization card; a DD 214 (because we all keep those in our back pockets); or just a picture of yourself wearing a U.S. military uniform.
Current, former, and retired service members can swing by participating Denny’s locations on Nov. 10 to score a free Build Your Own Grand Slam — a four-item breakfast plate — between 5 a.m. to noon, for those early risers or troops who forgot they had the day off and woke up for PT.
Golden Corral is hosting a Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. at all locations. The evening includes a free meal for all active-duty and former military dining at the restaurant. Once you recover from all your free Vets Day meals, you can fill back up two days later!
It may be Veterans Day, but you’re still expected to show up to formation on Monday with a fresh fade, which is probably why Hair Cuttery is running its Share-A-Haircut program. For every patron who gets a new ‘do on Nov. 11 one veteran in that community can receive a free haircut the same day. Experiences may vary in military towns where 70% or more of the population are veterans.
With valid military ID or proof of service current and former troops can snag a free entree from a select menu at Hooters locations nationwide on Nov. 11. The special Veterans Day menu includes the Hooters Burger, traditional or boneless wings, buffalo chicken salad or a buffalo chicken sandwich, and a choice of sauce or dry rub. Though, given how packed Hooters usually are, you might have trouble finding a table.
Veterans, active-duty troops, and retirees can get a free Bloomin’ Onion and drink (no booze though) Nov. 11 at Outback Steakhouse. Additionally, Nov. 12 through Dec. 31, current and former military personnel get 20% off their meal.
Current and former military can get a free appetizer or dessert item from the chain’s select menu with a valid military ID — though that entree is left for you to cover, but since we’re laying this out with an eye toward binge-eating…maybe just stick to the free eats?
With proof of service, vets and military dining in at Red Robin can get a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Nov. 11. The only catch: The promo isn’t valid in Alaska. Tough break for those Coasties keeping an eye on the waterways and wilderness way up North.
During your Veterans Day free-stuff extravaganza, you’re going to need to refuel. Starbucks is offering free tall hot-brewed coffees to veterans, service members, and spouses on Nov. 11, so don’t forget to stay caffeinated.
From Nov. 7 to 11, Target is offering a 10% discount on purchases, in-store and online, to all active-duty military, veterans, and their spouses and dependents. But to qualify for the deal, you need to register online. Might be a good idea to pre-emptively purchase a discounted pair of “eatin’ pants” with an elastic waistband.
Restaurant-goers who present a valid military ID can get a free lunch item (up to $12) at TGI Fridays on Nov. 11 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. To get you back in the door next time, they are also offering a $5 coupon off your next meal.
On Veterans Day, Walgreens is offering 20% off regular priced items for military veterans and their families, which is good, because chances are, if you run the gamut on this list, you may want to swing by a convenience store for some stomach-relief meds.