Applebee's FREE food plan to get you in the door


As other restaurants offer promotions with rock-bottom pricing, Applebee's is taking it one step further.

On July 21, the DineEquity-owned casual dining chain will be giving away food to dine-in customers at a steep discount—free of charge. As part of the promotion, customers can test out sampler plates of its new sriracha shrimp and churro s-mores appetizers. (They will receive the first at the beginning of the meal and the second as a dessert.)

Applebee’s Churro S’Mores appetizer
Source: Applebee’s

It estimates it will give away 2 million of the dishes in an effort to get guests to try them and other things on the menu as well.

This year, Applebee's has doubled down on new products, adding items with ingredients like quinoa and sweet potato. Nearly every restaurant nationwide also has been renovated, and Applebee's same-restaurant sales have shown signs of rebounded after declining in fiscal 2013.

Read MoreAmerica's most-loved fast food joint is...

"Now we're positioning ourselves for the next generation of consumers," said Darin Dugan, the brand's senior vice president, marketing and culinary, in a phone interview.

Some of these sodium levels will shock you

"We're revamping not only the look and feel of restaurants but the food platforms," he added.

Restaurants are well known for discounted food gimmicks. On Friday, Krispy Kreme will sell a dozen doughnuts for 78 cents after customers buy a dozen, while IHOP promoted a 57-cent short stack in honor of its anniversary on Tuesday.