You know it by its translucent, lime green liquid that comes in a hefty glass beer tankard.
The Dollarita is back.
After three years without a Dollarita in sight, casual dining restaurant Applebee's is putting it back on the menu. Amazingly, the drink still only costs a dollar. Otherwise, they'd probably have to figure out a different name. Beginning on Sunday, customers can buy $1 margaritas at participating Applebee's locations.
"We've got our team members all geared up," Chief Marketing Officer Joel Yashinsky told Insider. "Our franchisees are excited and we're expecting a really great reaction from all of our fans and all of our guests."
Applebee's is promoting the drink with a 15 second commercial set to the opening of Ozzy Osbourne's song "Crazy Train," that will air on Sunday.
"We have a great partnership with NBC, Football Night in America, and Sunday Night Football," Yashinsky said, "and there'll be a lot of attention on that game with the Kansas City Chiefs and their new biggest fan, Taylor Swift."
This year, Applebee's parent company Dine Brands noticed customers are becoming more cautious in their spending, CEO John Peyton said in the company's August earnings call. The number of guests selecting limited-time and value offers from Applebee's menus increased to 19% in the second quarter, compared to 15% in the first.
"Across the industry, we noticed our competition leaning heavily into promotions, which also contributed to the headwinds this quarter," Peyton said.
With its value pricing, Applebee's is hoping the Dollarita is just one more reason cash-strapped Americans choose the restaurant for a night out.
"We certainly know at the moment that there's a lot of pressure on our guests and on their pocketbooks," Yashinsky said. "We want Applebee's to be at the top of that list of their selections."
Applebee's introduced the Dollarita in October 2017. At first, franchisees worried that it would discourage food orders and get customers too drunk, Insider reported.
But Steve Joyce, who served as the CEO of parent company Dine Brands until 2021, told Insider that the Dollarita helped turn the chain around after it struggled to grow sales. After introducing the drink, Applebee's posted four consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth.
The company brought the drink back in April 2018 and then introduced a strawberry flavor Dollarita in August of that year.
While October marks the sixth anniversary of the Dollarita's launch, Yashinsky said that customer demand was the main reason for the drink's return.
"It's the number one thing our guests ask for," he said. "It was certainly one of our biggest fan favorites and so we're just super excited to be able to bring it back."
Yashinsky said he's also excited to see how a younger generation, who will be trying it for the first time, responds to the drink. "We're going to be having a lot of new guests that are now 21 or older," he said. "There's that next group coming in that's going to be able to really enjoy this, including my daughter."
While the Dollarita recipe remains the same, the company has made one slight tweak. Along with tequila and lime, the drink will now contain triple sec.
"That really authentic margarita taste, it comes through a little bit stronger," Yashinsky said.
Despite inflation, Yashinsky said Applebee's is able to keep the original $1 offer price because the ingredients have not increased in cost. "The tequila and the triple sec and the lime, it all is relatively stable versus where it was six years ago," he said.
The company is marketing the drink as a limited-time offer. Yashinsky did not provide an exact end date, though he told Insider that in the past, Applebee's has run the offer for a month at a time. Applebee's October bar menu also includes two Halloween-themed $5 "spooky sips."
"We have a nice balance for whatever type of drink folks want to have," Yashinsky said. "From the Dollarita to the perfect margarita, it's going to be a fun October."2023-10-01T12:04:35Z dg43tfdfdgfd