Beer and margs for everyone!
applebees dollarita special
Credit: Courtesy of Applebee's

Originally launched last October, Applebee’s on-again, off-again $1 margaritas cleverly named “Dollaritas” have probably been the struggling casual dining chain’s most successful promotion in decades (as least as far as pure publicity is concerned). After the initial month of Dollarita madness, Applebee’s kept the $1 beverage excitement going with a series of other $1 cocktails: $1 Long Island Iced Teas in December and $1 Bahama Mamas in February. But the Dollarita is clearly the Alvin to those Simon and Theodores, so the bigger news came this month when the original Dollarita made its much-anticipated return.

But though cheap margaritas in April work as a solid lead up to summer, someone over at Applebee’s must have consulted a calendar and seen that the chain was about to miss a potentially massive Dollarita holiday tie-in: Cinco de Mayo. Realizing that axing its popular margarita promotion just five days before one of the largest tequila drinking days of the year would be unwise, Applebee’s announced today that the chain is sensibly extending its April Dollarita promotion through to Saturday, May 5. “We’re keeping it around for Cinco de Mayo when folks have margaritas on their minds,” Patrick Kirk, vice president of beverage innovation at Applebee’s, said in a statement.

But the Cinco de Mayo festivities don’t end there. Applebee’s also just announced its May drink special: $2 draft Dos Equis, which the brand is labeling as “2 Dollar Dos.” That promotion launches on May 1, which means—yes—from May 1 through May 5, Applebee’s will have two Mexican-themed drink specials running simultaneously: Dollaritas and 2 Dollar Dos—offering double the opportunity for inexpensive inebriation… or as Kirk billed it as “a big win for our guests.”

Needless to say, the whole thing is a shrewd move from the restaurant chain. Its Salsa Verde Beef Nachos notwithstanding, Applebee’s is probably one of the last places people would associate with Cinco de Mayo. But with somewhere around 1,800 locations across the country, suddenly, the Neighborhood Grill will likely find itself luring holiday foot traffic away from more obvious choices.