The coronavirus pandemic has taken hold of Veterans Day, changing the rules, offerings and gatherings to honor those who served. Free food and discounts are still available Nov. 11, but most are for dine-in patrons. Which means you have a decision to make on whether a free burger and fries is worth potential exposure to the virus.
Some offers include takeout and online orders. Some require you to register or join a loyalty program. And a few are handing out vouchers to avoid capacity issues.
Some offers are strictly for vets; others include active-duty and retired troops. Call ahead to make sure your local places are participating — especially with COVID 19 issues — and ask what you need to bring to identify yourself. Many will ask for a DD-214 or other proof of service — or you can come in uniform!
Check to make sure what exactly is included in the offers. For example, beverages and gratuities are often not covered at eateries.
Here’s a look at a few meals and deals. All are good Nov. 11 unless otherwise noted.
And don’t forget the waitstaff — tips are good every day of the year, especially during the pandemic.
Food and drink
Applebee’s — Veterans and active duty military receive a free meal from a special menu.
Bakers Square — Free Rise and Shine breakfast for vets and active duty. Dine-in only.
Bar Louie — Free flatbread or burger (up to $15) for vets and active duty.
Bob Evans — Veterans and active duty receive free meal from select menu, including fried chicken, country biscuit breakfast or soup and salad. Dine-in only.
Bonanza Steakhouse — Former and current service members get free buffet (beverage not included).
Bruegger’s Bagels — Free bagel with cream cheese for active-duty, veterans, Reserve and military spouses.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. — 20 percent off for military personnel and families. Dine-in only.
Buffalo Wild Wings — Free order of 10 boneless wings and fries. Dine-in or takeout.
California Pizza Kitchen – Veterans and active military receive a free pizza and beverage Nov. 11. Dine in-only.
Cattlemens Steakhouse — Current and former military receive a free 8-ounce sirloin steak dinner.
Chicken Salad Chick — free Chick Special and beverage for vets and active duty.
Chili’s — Active duty and veterans can choose a free dine-in meal from a select menu. Dine-in only.
Cicis Pizza — A free adult buffet for veterans and active-duty with a valid military I.D. on November 11. Get coupon here.
City Barbecue — Free sandwich platter with two sides and beverage. Dine-in and carryout. Check out the vouchers available Nov. 11 for your free meal to be redeemable later.
Cotton Patch Café — Free chicken-fried steak or fried chicken.
Country Cookin — Free meal for vets, Reserve and active duty. Dine-in only.
Country Kitchen — Free Country Scramble with pancakes, scrambled eggs with ham and cheese. Dine-in only.
Cracker Barrel — Free slice of Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake, fruit cobbler or apple pie for all dine-in veterans.
Crooked Pint Ale House — Free meal for veterans.
Dunkin’ Donuts — Free doughnut for active duty and veterans. One per person.
Famous Dave’s — Active duty and vets get free chopped pork sandwich and a side. Dine-in, to go and online orders. No call-in orders.
STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 29, 2020. “A Roundup of Free Food and Discounts for Veterans Day for Those Who Served.” Stars and Stripes, www.stripes.com/news/us/a-roundup-of-free-food-and-discounts-for-veterans-day-for-those-who-served-1.650385.