Restaurants are historically welcoming to the military community, whether from a consumer or professional standpoint. As the National Restaurant Association reports, more than 250,000 military veterans hold jobs throughout the industry. And Friday, on Veterans Day, brands across the country will be honoring the men and women who served our country with deals and giveaways. Here are 10 brands participating this year:

Outback Steakhouse

This Veterans Day, Outback Steakhouse is recognizing military service members and saying thank you with its in-restaurant offerings. All active and retired military members can receive a free Bloomin' Onion and beverage; and from November 12 through December 31, Military Mates, which includes military families, can receive 15 percent off their check. This year, Outback also launched its first ever Challenge Coin program benefitting Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships and assistance to the spouses and children of those military killed or disabled in service to America.

Outback's Challenge Coin program was inspired by the military custom where soldiers produce their Challenge Coin to fellow soldiers, and anyone who cannot immediately present the same coin must buy a round of drinks.

To honor this tradition, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill partnered with Folds of Honor to create their own Challenge Coin, which can be purchased online now through December 31. One hundred percent of proceeds from the sales go directly to Folds of Honor. As a token of appreciation for the donation, guests who present the Challenge Coin at participating Outback Steakhouse or Carrabba's Italian Grill restaurants can redeem a free Coca-Cola product anytime in 2016.

Bar Louie

Bar Louie is honoring active and retired members of the U.S. military with a free entrée on Veterans Day at all its locations nationwide. Offers are dine-in only. Veterans and active military must show a valid military identification card or similar proof of service.

In addition to the exclusive offer, Bar Louie will offer a "give back" for anyone who orders an item from the restaurant's 'Limited Addition' menu. Every time an item is ordered, 10 percent of the sales, up to $25,000, will be donated to Operation Homefront to support their Emergency Assistance Program and immediately impact the lives of men and women who serve our country. The offer is valid from the time the restaurant opens its doors on Veterans Day until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

"Bar Louie is excited to help the people in our country who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting us," says John Neitzel, CEO of Bar Louie. "These individuals have given so much of themselves. We must continue to recognize our servicemen and women as often as possible. It is our privilege to make a small difference and we thank them for what they do for all of us."

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings is bringing back its special Veterans Day promotion, “Wings for Heroes,” with a new twist. All day long on November 11, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in the U.S. will provide a complimentary order of wings and a side of fries to veterans and active duty military to thank them for their dedication and service. Eligible Guests visiting their local Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant during regular business hours will receive a free small order of 10 to 12 traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries for free.

“On this day, we want to show our appreciation and respect for our brave military men and women, and thank them for everything they’ve done to serve and protect our country,” says Judy Shoulak, president of North America, Buffalo Wild Wings. “This year, we invite all veterans and active duty military to enjoy the meal our Guests crave the most—our hot, flavorful wings—all day, whenever it fits their schedule.”

O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar

O’Charley’s Restaurant + Bar will offer free meals to veterans and active duty service members all day long on Veterans Day. All military personnel who show their military ID can choose from one of O’Charley’s popular $9.99er meals including O’Charley’s Famous Chicken Tenders & Fries, Honey Drizzled Southern-Fried Chicken, Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie and more. Restaurant participation may vary by location.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to show our appreciation for our military community,” says O’Charley’s president, Eddie Hall. “Supporting the military is very important to us and something we are committed to doing yearlong. On Veterans Day, we say thank you to our veterans and active duty service members by inviting them into our restaurant to enjoy our southern hospitality and a delicious meal on us.”


Denny’s is inviting active, inactive and retired military personnel to stop by for a free Build Your Own Grand Slam on Veterans Day, from 5 a.m. to noon. At participating locations nationwide, diners with a valid military ID will receive a complimentary Build Your Own Grand Slam, which includes four delicious breakfast items such as new fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, eggs cooked to order, sizzling bacon strips, seasonal fruit or hash browns.

“As America’s Diner we love to feed people, and for us there is no greater honor than serving the incredible servicemen and women of our country,” says John Dillon, chief marketing officer for Denny’s. “Each Veterans Day it is important for us to take a moment to celebrate those heroes who tirelessly defend our country, and we hope they’ll join us again this year as we offer them a gesture of our endless appreciation.”

This year Denny’s is extending their support of America’s heroes with a $23,000 donation to Fisher House Foundation, a non-profit organization providing free accommodation for military and veterans’ families during medical treatment.


For the ninth consecutive year, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar will honor veterans and active members of the United States military by offering each a free meal at any of the nearly 1,900 Applebee's restaurants in the U.S. on Veterans Day. Applebee's will offer seven of its signature menu items on its Veterans Day menu, including Butcher's Meat and Potatoes, Oriental Chicken Salad, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tenders Platter, Double Crunch Shrimp, Three-Cheese Chicken Penne, and American Standard All-In Burger.

Since 2008, Applebee's restaurants across the country have served almost eight million free meals to veterans and active duty military personnel on Veterans Day. This year all current and former military personnel will also receive a $5 coupon that can be redeemed between November 12 and November 27.

"Applebee's was one of the first restaurant chains in the country to honor our veterans and active service men and women by welcoming them into our restaurants across the country for a free meal on Veterans Day," says Julia Stewart, chairman and CEO of Applebee's parent company DineEquity, Inc. and president of Applebee's. "This is a day our Applebee's family looks forward to year in and year out. We are proud to be able to serve and honor the heroes in our neighborhoods who have sacrificed so much to protect the freedom of our great country." 

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is offering a free meal from open to close, no purchase required. Over the past three years, the brand has served more than 32,000 complimentary meals to veterans and active duty military on this special day. Just present a valid military ID or proof of service to enjoy the free Veterans Day meal.

“Our On The Border family is honored to serve those who have served our country and given us the freedom that we have today,” says Ashley Zickefoose, chief marketing officer of On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina. Veterans and active military may visit any participating On the Border on November 11 to enjoy a free Combo 2 or 3 plate. You can choose between On the Border classics, such as empanadas or flautas, enchiladas, soup or salad, or tacos. There are more than 150 possible meal combinations available through the Create Your Own Combo offering. Each combo also includes Mexican rice and your choice of beans. Of course, the complimentary endless tortilla chips and house-made salsa will also be served all day.


IHOP Restaurants nationwide will again pay tribute to the more than 23 million men and women who have retired from or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces by offering a complimentary stack of patriotic Red, White & Blue Pancakes.

Veterans and Active Duty Military can enjoy three of IHOP restaurant's hot-off-the-griddle, world famous Buttermilk Pancakes with glazed strawberries, blueberry compote and whipped topping for free at participating U.S. locations between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Select IHOP restaurants will also offer a combo of two eggs, hash browns and choice of two bacon strips or pork sausage links as part of the Red, White & Blue Pancake promotion for retired and active duty military personnel. Guests should check with their local IHOP restaurant for additional details.

"Every year on Veterans Day, IHOP and our franchisees look forward to welcoming our nation's heroes into our restaurants and serving them a freshly made breakfast all day long in appreciation of their service and sacrifice," says Darren Rebelez, president, International House of Pancakes, LLC.  Rebelez, who himself served as an Army Ranger and is a Gulf War veteran. "I am proud to be part of a brand that honors the brave men and women who dedicate their lives to ensuring our freedom and safety."

Mimi’s Cafe

Mimi’s is saluting America’s military with a free entrée from a special all-day "Veterans Day" menu—featuring top selections from its everyday breakfast, lunch and dinner menus—on Veterans Day.

All veterans and active duty military will receive a complimentary entrée with the purchase of any non-alcoholic beverage. Choices include: Grilled Chicken & Frite, Chicken Chop Salad, Brioche Cheeseburger, and Farmhouse Tacos. On November 12 and November 13, veterans and active duty military will also receive their choice of breakfast, lunch or dinner entrees on the ‘Veterans Day’ menu for a special price of only $5.99 with the purchase of any non-alcoholic beverage.


Shoney’s is thanking our nation’s veterans and troops with a free All-American Burger in what has become a tradition on Veterans Day.

“For nearly 70 years, Shoney’s has been an American treasure and has always been a ‘Welcome Home’ sign to America’s military,” CEO David Davoudpour says. “It’s one of our favorite days of the year as we get to honor our veterans and troops with a free burger as we thank those who protect our very freedom. Veterans and troops, on your special day, and every day, we salute you.

Davoudpour says service members will be treated to Shoney’s Signature favorite All-American Burger, a fresh, never frozen, hand-pattied, grain-fed, 100 percent ground beef, cooked to order burger, served on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, and mayonnaise.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, serving American classic cuisine, is honoring active military and veterans by treating them to a free lunch or dinner entrée. Customers just need a valid form of military ID or they can wear their uniform to any Firebirds location. If you dine with family or friends on this special day, the complimentary entrée will be whichever entrée is of lesser value.

Offer details:

Receive one complimentary military entrée

Dine in Only

Not valid in conjunction with any other offer including restaurant week items

One offer per guest

Tax and gratuity not included

Valid at participating restaurants

Accepted forms of ID also include:

S. Uniform Services Identification Card

S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card

Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)

Photograph of you in uniform

Wear your uniform

Veterans Organization Card (i.e. American Legion and VFW DD214)

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Applebee's, Bar Louie, Buffalo Wild Wings, Denny's, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, IHOP, Mimi's Cafe, O'Charley's, On The Border, Outback Steakhouse, Shoney's