eater.com – It’s a Wednesday night at Applebee’s in metro Detroit and the restaurant is turning a brisk business. Waitresses rush by carrying plates of boneless chicken wings, fried mozzarella sticks, and a fair share of plastic cups filled with clear brown liquid. “There’s no limit to drink as many as you want,” one waitress says as those plastic cups pass by. “So [people] just keep ordering them.”
Since Applebee’s launched its $1 Long Island iced tea promotion (aka $1 L.I.T.s) last week, the alcoholic drink — poured into a mug or sometimes a disposable cup, depending on volume of orders — has drawn in a growing adult clientele. The demand has been high enough that the beverage director at the metro Detroit location now mixes four keg-sized batches of the sweet alcoholic drink daily, according to a server. The uptick in business is big enough to warrant a modest wait at the door.
The casual dining chain as a concept may be limping along, but Applebee’s, it seems, has discovered a temporary cure. In October, the neighborhood-centric chain managed to win over thrifty imbibers with a whole month of $1 margaritas — or rather, Dollaritas, as the marketing dubbed them. Anecdotally, the cheap margs seemed to drive more diners into Applebee’s locations, apparently driving some employees and regulars crazy with bad tips and long wait times.
Yea I mean that just seems like a common sense business plan… losing customers… reel them in with cheap liquor.