It’s official—the Dollarita is back.
For a limited-time meal deal, Applebee’s is offering margaritas for just a single dollar.
“After more than three years of listening to guests in-restaurant and on social tell the brand how much they miss the Dollarita® it is finally back!” the company said in a statement.
The new deal was announced during a commercial during the Jets-Chiefs game last night.
“You’re welcome, America,” the narrator announced as the margaritas made their way back onto menus.
Diners can expect the Dollarita to be on menus starting October 1. However, the deal is live only for a limited time so you shouldn’t wait around to catch the deal and drink to your heart’s delight.
Each beverage features tequila and lime, but for the first time in Applebee’s Dollarita history, the drink now contains triple sec.
Dine-In Deals Courtesy of Inflation
The last time Applebee’s sold $1 margaritas was three years ago.
The new deal comes shortly after the restaurant chain reported less-than-stellar quarterly earnings. Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands saw a 1 percent decline in sales in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
As inflation persists, Americans are looking for more cost-effective ways to dine out. Applebee’s is hoping the $1 cocktail offering is likely to draw in new diners even as overall costs remain high.
The current inflation rate is at 3.67 percent after reaching a high of 9.1 percent in June last year. Americans are feeling the hit to their budgets on everything from food, housing and gas, meaning some families are choosing to dine out less.
Dine Brands chief executive officer John Peyton said during an August earnings call that customers are increasingly becoming more cautious in their spending.
The number of guests selecting limited-time and value offers from Applebee’s menus soared by 19 percent in the second quarter, up from 15 percent in the first.
“Across the industry, we noticed our competition leaning heavily into promotions, which also contributed to the headwinds this quarter,” Peyton said.
When the Dollarita was first introduced in 2017, Applebee’s experienced four consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth. Since then, the item has returned on a limited-time basis and also debuted a strawberry-flavored version in 2018.
Today, inflation has caused restaurant chains across the industry to make adjustments to their menus in hopes of bringing in more customers who are avoiding the hefty price surges in grocery stores.
“We’ve seen companies tweaking their value menus across the board,” Michael Schaefer, the global lead for food and beverage at Euromonitor International, previously told CNBC. “We’re seeing fewer items total, limited price increases, smaller items.”
Altogether, casual dining menu prices climbed 9 percent in 2022 while quick-service meal prices grew by 7.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But alongside those price hikes, restaurants have felt consumers pushing back. More than 66 percent of restaurants experienced a decline in sales due to inflation over the past year, a survey from Seated found.
Beyond Applebee’s, other restaurants are offering limited-time deals to boost sales.
At Burger King, guests can now order a $10 Homecoming meal feast that includes two Whopper Jr. sandwiches, two milkshakes, one small order of onion rings, and one small order of French fries.
KFC is also offering its brand new Smash’d Potato Bowl for just $3.49. Each bowl contains mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet corn, popcorn chicken, and a three-cheese blend.
Customers can also purchase the brand’s 8-piece Hot & Spicy Wings for $4.99, which is targeting fast food fans who want something cheaper than Popeye’s recently released 6-piece chicken wings for $5.99.