Normally, HudsonValleyEATS focuses our stories on the independent restaurant and business owners but sometimes we need to make an exception, especially when a company serves their community so well.
There’s a restaurant near you that helps their neighbors everyday!
T.L. Cannon owns 62 Applebee’s restaurants in Upstate NY, Connecticut and Northern Pennsylvania. “The foundation of our business is commitment to the community and being a part of our neighborhoods.” For the past ten consecutive years, T.L. Cannon was awarded the National Restaurant Association Good Neighbor Award for
their community-based programs.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Programs
There are several programs for students, and the kids who love to read. A is for Applebee’s is an award program for participating schools that reward students based on a variety of achievement areas including academics, responsibility, sportsmanship, or attendance. The winning students receive an award card for complimentary meals. Cool Credit is an achievement award program for teens (ages 11-18) delighting the winners with free appetizers like Mozzarella Sticks, Boneless Buffalo Wings, Onion Rings or Spinach & Artichoke Dip. The Bookworm Club is a reading-focused program encouraging students ages 10 or younger to read at least 10 books that they record on their Bookworm Club record card. Once a student completes all 10 books, they earn a free kid’s meal.
Do you have a child who hides when it’s time to visit the dentist? The Be Brave Program may erase some of their anxiety, because pediatric dentists and doctors give reward cards good for a free kids meal on their next visit to a local Applebees. You might just find yourself sitting next to a bunch of little leaguers after a tough match, because Coaches Eat Free. Coaches who bring their team in after a game receive a complimentary entree and non-alcoholic beverage.
Since 2008, T.L. Cannon has partnered with the Special Olympics of New York helping to raise over $118,000 for local Special Olympics chapters. Many Applebees also host Law & Order Dinners where Police officers help to greet, serve meals, and clear tables all while collecting donations from guests for the Special Olympics.
If your organization is looking to raise funds while having fun, you can always come to Applebees and flip some flapjacks. A Flapjack Fundraiser Event is hosted at an Applebee’s restaurant during non-operating hours to help organizations raise money by selling breakfast plates. Their website even has a calculation to help an organization estimate how many tickets they have to sell in order to meet their financial goal.
The Dining for Dollars fundraisers are a fabulous way to make money for a worthy cause. Applebees donates 10% of the guest’s check on the specific day (excluding tax, alcohol, and gift card sales) when accompanied by a valid Dining to Donate flyer.
To support firefighters, Applebees offers local fire companies the opportunity to host a Tip-a-Firefighter Night. Funds raised can be utilized to fund projects, make equipment purchases, assist with operating expenses or support educational programs that the fire company conducts in the community. On a designated night, firefighters work alongside Applebee’s employees and help deliver beverages, seat guests and clear tables. Special “tip envelopes” are given to guests for donations along with donation receipt forms.
When I asked Steve Fagan, the General Manager of the Applebee's in Middletown, what his favorite charity involvement has been, he didn’t hesitate to answer. “I’m a huge fan of the AHRC which supports adults with developmental disabilities as they prepare for employment. We provide training on all kinds of restaurant job skills with the goal of offering full time employment at the end of their program. We recently hired Debra, a 40 year old woman, and this was her first job,” said Fagan. “I tell my staff that there is no such thing as a perfect restaurant, but I want them to do everything they can to make sure the customer comes back again.”
For more information about Applebee's fundraisers & community programs at an Applebee's near you, click here.