KANSAS CITY, MO — The president of Applebee's International, Inc. announced Tuesday that the family restaurant chain would be declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy next week, after offering military service members and veterans free alcohol for Veterans Day.
The promotion resulted in a massive single day loss of nearly $6 billion.
“I just wanted to do something for the troops,” said Michael Archer, Applebee's president, in a press conference. “I figured they would come in, be respectful, and have a drink or two. It’s not like people go to Applebee’s to drink.”
Soon after the deal was announced, word of free alcohol spread across social media. Army Brig. Gen. Robert James announced the deal on Twitter, along with the hashtag #CrunkAtApplebees. The tag began trending quickly, after Pentagon spokesman George Little tweeted, "Oh fuck yeah! #CrunkAtApplebees tonight bitches. Join me and Chuckie H.!"
“I knew this might be a problem right after the east coast locations opened,” Archer said.“I got a call from the Norfolk VA regional manager who said all our restaurants were packed to capacity with lines out the door."
One Applebee's reported the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) brought his entire crew to the restaurant, with 3000 sailors fighting for just 100 seats.
"The bartenders and servers fled the premises, leaving the sailors free reign over the bar," said Archer. "The restaurant was on fire five minutes later.”
Any location near military bases suffered a similar fate. Security footage of a Jacksonville, North Carolina Applebee’s showed hundreds of Marines drinking, head-butting walls, and holding one-armed pushup contests. Marines later spray painted “USMC” and “Wagner loves cock” over the walls.
“Three guys came in and sat down at the bar,” said Michelle Baxter, a bartender at an Applebee’s in Butte, Montana. “They ordered three kegs and finished them in half an hour. One of them died for a moment. Actually died. He fell to the floor and wasn’t breathing. The two others did CPR on him while shouting ‘Wake up pussy, there‘s beer left!’"
"He got back up and started drinking again. He wouldn’t go to the hospital unless he could bring his keg," she added.
Although going out of business, Archer says he has no regrets. “I wanted to thank our veterans. They really are our nation’s finest men and women. They proved it yesterday.”