Applebees 1 Dollar Margarita

When one thinks of restaurant turnaround success stories, a $1 drink may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, for Applebee’s, its Dollarita margarita is exactly what sparked an impressive chain-wide revival. By offering this incredibly cheap cocktail, Applebee’s saw a surge in traffic unseen in years along with soaring profits.

The story of the Dollarita shows how creativity and value can breathe new life into even a struggling brand. This article will explore the origins of Applebee’s dollar drink, how it took the world by storm, and what kept its magic alive years later. By focusing on quality yet affordable offerings, any business can learn from the Dollarita’s unexpectedly sweet success.

The Struggling Chain Finds Success

The Struggling Chain Finds Success

In the years leading up to 2017, Applebee’s had been losing customers and facing falling sales. Like other sit-down restaurant brands, it struggled to attract diners in an era of increased competition from fast casual chains and take-out options. Applebee’s tried new menu items and remodeling its stores, but nothing seemed able to halt its decline. The situation was looking dire for the 40-year old franchise business.

Then, in October 2017, Applebee’s tested a new limited-time offer – a tasty frozen margarita sold for just $1. Dubbed the Dollarita, this improbably low price point caught people’s attention across America. To the surprise of even the chain itself, the Dollarita was an immediate hit. It drove more foot traffic into Applebee’s restaurants and significantly boosted alcohol sales.

The Impact Of $1 Drinks

Applebee’s had found its winning formula. Over the following year, the Dollarita led to impressive growth trends. After its introduction, the company saw four straight quarters of positive same-store sales and guest counts rising. Sales of adult beverages grew over 20% year-over-year. Customers were flocking back to enjoy affordable drinking and eating out again.

The Dollarita gained such popularity that Applebee’s brought it back seasonally each year. Even at $1, the margarita was highly profitable for the chain. It required just 33 cents worth of ingredients to make. Serving this mega-value drink turned into a great promotional strategy. Applebee’s was finally able to not just halt its decline but enter a period of strong recovery.

Fueling A Turnaround Of Applebees 1 Dollar Margarita

Applebee’s Chief Executive Officer at the time, John Cywinski, called the Dollarita the most successful product launch in the company’s history. After struggles, it led Applebee’s to four booming years with revived guest traffic and significant bottom-line gains. Store managers who’d worried the $1 drink would undermine food sales instead saw it drive more complete meals as well. With renewed momentum, Applebee’s was able to undertake projects like more restaurant remodels.

Most importantly, the Dollarita rescued Applebee’s reputation as a stale brand. It put the fun back into dining out and gave customers an incredible deal they felt good about. Young professionals and families alike came to enjoy these affordable cocktails. The Dollarita gave Applebee’s a new image as a lively destination offering great experiences at small prices. This margarita paved the path to the chain’s impressive turnaround over the following years.

Applebee’s Dollaritas Return For Limited Time

Applebee's Dollaritas Return For Limited Time

So successful was the Dollarita that Applebee’s brought it back seasonally through 2020. Facing new challenges from inflation today, the chain is again counting on its dollar drink darling. In spring 2023, Applebee’s relaunched the Dollarita for a limited two month period, hoping it will once more light a fire under sales. Times are tough with higher menu prices elsewhere, so the $1 cocktail’s appeal remains as strong as ever.

With take-home cocktails also proving popular, Applebee’s has found new ways to extend Dollarita experiences. The drink stays core to Applebee’s identity and customer goodwill half a decade later. Only time will tell if today’s Dollarita will spark the same magic that previously saved the struggling restaurant chain from a bleak future. But with its incredible price point, this iconic margarita continues fueling hope for Applebee’s revitalization.

Is This $100 Margarita The Cocktail Steal Of The Century?

Fleming’s Steakhouse is selling a very expensive margarita for Cinco de Mayo. The margarita costs $100, which is a lot of money for one drink. But this margarita may be worth the price. It is called a masterpiece and uses only the best ingredients.

The tequila used is very old and expensive, usually only drank on its own without mixing. The lime and orange juice is freshly squeezed and comes from local organic fruit. Herbs like mint are added for more flavor. The drink is poured into a specially made glass that is not normal.

Most margaritas have salt on the rim or sour mix added, but this one does not to allow the flavors to be tasted clearly. Because it costs $100, customers will want to drink it slowly and enjoy the different tastes from the high-quality agave, citrus and herbs mixed together carefully in the base of the cocktail.


When Can Customers Get Them?

The $1 margaritas returned on Sunday October 1st. It is unclear how long they will last before being removed from menus again.

What are Dollaritas?

Dollaritas are margaritas that cost $1 each. They contain tequila, triple sec liquor and lime juice. Applebee’s is also bringing back spooky-themed drinks for Halloween that cost $5.

How Do Fans Feel?

Many fans were excited to see Dollaritas back. One person wrote on Instagram that “justice has finally been served” with their return. People seemed happy about the cheap cocktails coming back.

Can You Take Dollaritas To Go?

No, Applebee’s said on social media that Dollaritas can only be drunk at the restaurant, not taken away in bottles or cups. They want people to visit their locations.

Final Thoughts

The Dollarita margarita helped Applebee’s in a big way. When it was first offered for $1, many people came to try it. This led more customers to also buy food. Over time, Applebee’s did better financially and was not losing as many customers. Bringing back the Dollarita later worked too. While most would not pay $100 for a drink,

Applebee’s showed being affordable can help a business. Any company can learn from their Dollarita. Giving people good quality things at a fair price makes them happy. It keeps customers coming back and can save a business from struggling like Applebee’s was before.

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