Applebee’s, the iconic middle-American family resto, floated a daring promo a couple of weeks ago. They offered a limited number of ‘Passes’, good for free food weekly for a year. But the Date Night Cards sold out in less than 60 seconds!
Who knew Applebee’s was so popular with the the young-and-courting set? But the deal hath charms to soothe anyone’s savage wallet. For a one-time payment of $200, you got what amounts to $1,500 worth of Applebee’s food. Specificaly, the Pass is good for up to $30 worth of food and non-alcoholic beverages over 52 weeks.
The deal was offered for sign up on the Applebee’s website on January 22nd, and hordes of wanna-be daters cued up well before the starting gun was fired.
What Applebee’s said
“The Date Night Pass sale […] showed us that our guests are hungry for date night at Applebee’s — just prior to sale time there were nearly 100,000 guests waiting to try and snag a Date Night Pass,” the chaion said, in a statement.
“Our passes sold out in less than one minute to guests in 41 states — far exceeding our expectations. We apologize to our guests who were disappointed that the limited number of passes sold out so quickly. We’re always looking for ways to make date night special for our guests and look forward to sharing future offers.”
What the disappointed said
According to a Redditor, “There were 250 sold, it’s unlikely any of us will really know anyone who got one.” The poster says they learned that from an Applebee’s hostess. How odd, I thought, that no matter how I Googled it, or how much small print I squinted at on the restaurant’s website, I could find no disclosure of how many Date Night Passes were originally available. Hmm…
“Not even 2min in and the @Applebees Date Night Pass is sold out. BUMMER,” posted a disappointed X (Twitter) user.
“Applebee’s finessed everybody and used the Date Night Pass for free social media publicity,” someone else hypothesized.
“Somebody please prove to me that the Applebee’s date night passes exist… Because that sold out at warp speed and the page never loaded for me,” posted another X user.
“Imagine this rollercoaster of emotions,” posted a user who was managed to get a card into their cart, only to find out the deal was sold out before they could check out.
Before I learned the truth about how many Date Night Passes were actually made available, I thought: “It has to be at least 5,000 or so. I mean, they wouldn’t risk selling out too soon and enraging their biggest fans… Would they?”
Seems they would. And did.
Yes, Applebee’s got their ‘free’ social media and mainstream publicity. But at what cost?
~ Maggie J.