Starbucks, IHOP, Denny’s and more

Restaurants offer special discounts, free meals, and treats to active-duty military personnel and veterans on Thursday. Veterans Day to show appreciation for those who have sacrificed for the country.

A military ID or proof of service is required. Some businesses allow uniformed employees to show their identification. Discharge papers, VA cards and veteran organization membership cards also can be used to prove service at most businesses.

Veterans Day marks the date when Germany and the Allies signed a 1918 agreement to end World War I hostilities. The fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was first designated Armistice Day in 1919.

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The majority of discounts are valid only on the federal holiday at participating locations nationwide, with most applying to veterans and active-duty military.

Some exclusions may apply and offers can vary depending on the location. You should confirm your participation with the nearest location as not all restaurants offer the same specials.

Outback Veterans Day deal: Free Bloomin’ Onion and more

Outback Steakhouse is giving military veterans and active personnel a free Bloomin’ Onion and Coca-Cola product Thursday.

A chain was also created. “daily heroes discount”All servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders with valid state or federal ID are eligible for 10% off their entire checks

Olive Garden Veterans Day: Free meal

Olive Garden told USA TODAY that it is providing veterans and active-duty military a free entrée from a select menu Thursday. This offer is only available for dine-in.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, proof of military service is needed and entrées include breadsticks and choice of soup or house salad.

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day 2021 – Free wings and fries

Buffalo Wild Wings is giving past and present armed service members a free order of 10 boneless wings and fries.

This deal is valid for takeout or dine-in. Proof of service is required. Only one person can avail this deal.

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Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day: Free dinner vouchers

Texas Roadhouse will hand out dinner vouchers at the restaurant parking lots Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to the Veterans Affairs website, which notes veterans and active-duty military “can redeem their dinner vouchers when the restaurant opens for dinner, through May 30, 2022.” 

Dunkin' has a freebie for Veterans Day 2021.

Dunkin’ Veterans Day deal: Free donut

Dunkin’On Thursday, veterans and active members of the military will receive a free donut at any participating restaurant nationwide. The freebie can only be accessed in-store.

There is a maximum of one guest per day, while supplies last. No ID is required, according to the fine print.

IHOP Veterans Day – Free Pancakes

IHOPThursday, all military veterans will receive free pancakes. You also have the option of two limited-time menu items.

Red, White, Blue Pancakes and a Pancake Combo are available for Veterans from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Thursday. You will need to show proof of service or military ID.

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Starbucks Veterans Day: Free Coffee

Starbucks will offer its Veterans Day specialThursday is for military spouses, veterans, and military service personnel. They can get a free tall 12-ounce hot brewed coffee at participating U.S. locations.

The promotion is for café and drive-thru orders and is limited to one per customer.

The coffee giant says it  will donate 25 cents for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold nationwide Thursday to military nonprofits Team Red, White & Blue and Headstrong to support military communities’ mental health and the wellbeing of military communities. 

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Starbucks' Veterans Day free coffee deal is for veterans, military service members and military spouses.

Krispy Kreme Veterans day deal: Free donuts & coffee

Krispy Kreme offers two freebies to veterans on Thursday. Veterans can get a free doughnut and a small brewed coffee, hot or cold, for their service.

There is a limit to one promotion and it is available in shops as well as the drive-thru.

Are you not a veteran yet? You can still get a complimentary gift. You will need a valid COVID-19 vaccine card. get a free glazed doughnut through Dec. 31 for showing the card.

Wawa: Veterans Day Free Coffee

Wawa’s annual Veterans Day freebie is for veterans, active military members and their families Thursday: A free hot coffee in any size.

The convenience store chain has more than 940 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Washington DC.

Wawa offers free coffee to its rewards members every Tuesday until the end. Sign up to become a new member

More Veterans Day coffee for active military personnel and vets

  • Biggby Coffee: All active and retired military personnel with ID receive a 16-ounce free beverage of their choice
  • Caribou Coffee:Thursday, veterans, active military personnel, and their spouses get a small cup if hot brewed coffee. Ask when placing your order for the deal. 
  • Casey’s General Store: All military personnel, past and present, receive a free cup Thursday morning coffee. USA TODAY is not required to prove service and Casey’s said that the deal will be made on the honor system.
  • EG America: Free coffee any size (hot or iced) for active military and veterans at all locations, including Cumberland Farms, Tom Thumb, Turkey Hill, Quik Stop, Kwik Stop, Minit Mart, Certified Oil, Fastrac Café and Loaf N Jug. There is no purchase necessary.
  • PJ’s Coffee:Thursday, free 12-ounce cold-brew or hot-drip coffee 
  • Scooter’s Coffee: Free hot, iced or blended drink for veterans Thursday.
  • Denny’s Veterans Day 2021: Free Grand Slam

    Denny’s Veterans Day OfferIt is open from 5 a.m. until noon Thursday. All military personnel, active and inactive, can receive a complimentary gift “Build Your Own Grand Slam”You must have a valid military ID to order a meal at the restaurant.

    Hours can vary. Denny’s also said it will have its second annual “Heroes Tour”Through its Mobile Relief Diner, it will provide hot meals for veterans and active military personnel. The exact dates and locations will be announced later.

    Applebee’s: Free meals for Veterans Day

    For the 14th time, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & BarActive military, veterans, Reserves, and National Guard get a free Thursday meal from a special menu. This offer is dine-in only at more than 1,500 restaurants nationwide and hours vary by location.

    The chain stated in a News releaseIt will also give you “these special guests”A $5 bounce back card can be used to redeem for delivery, To-Go or dine-in within three weeks.

    According to the promotion’s fine print, beverage and gratuity are not included and there’s a limit of one meal per U.S. veteran or active duty military.

    Wendy’s offers a free breakfast for Veterans Day

    Wendy’sThe breakfast buffet is free for active-duty military personnel and veterans. Hours can vary depending on where you are located.

    Valid military ID or Veterans Advantage card are required. The offer can be redeemed in restaurants or at the drive-thru.  

    Sheetz Veterans Day Deals – Free Sub, Drink and Car Wash

    Sheetz is offering a few Veterans Day discounts for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families on Thursday. They can get a free half turkey or ham sub and a regular-size fountain drink at any of the chain’s 633 locations with military ID or proof of service.

    Sheetz stores with car washes offer a free wash for veterans and active-duty military personnel.


    Do Taco Bells, McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Chick-fil A offer Veterans Day discounts?

    USA TODAY was told by some of the nation’s biggest chains that they do not have any national Veterans Day deals. Some Taco Bells, Chick-fil-As, and McDonald’s might offer discounts.

    Taco Bell told USA TODAY that customers should call local restaurants to ask if they have a deal. Chick-filA also indicated that specials may be available at some restaurants. In the past, participating McDonald’s in Ohio offered veterans a free meal on Veterans Day. 

    Subway, Chipotle, Burger King, and Burger King are all major chains that didn’t share national Veterans Day deals with USA TODAY.

    More Veterans Day Free Food and Deals

    The following deals are available Thursdays unless otherwise stated. Many of these offers are only available for dine-in, while some require a mobile phone app. Most require proof of military service, and they are available while stocks last.

    Arby’s RBA location: Free classic roast beef sandwich for veterans and active-duty military at Arby’s largest franchisee, RB American (RBA), a subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group. Find locations at

    Au Bon Pain: For active-duty military personnel and veterans, a small cup of soup is free.

    Bertucci’s: Free entrée for veterans and active-duty U.S. military members. Dine-in only

    BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: All current and former military personnel are eligible for a free meal from a limited menu and a Dr Pepper beer.

    Bob Evans:Enjoy a free meal from a special menu 

    Bonefish Grill: For veterans, service members, and first responders, there is a 10% discount per day.

    California Pizza Kitchen: Veterans receive a special meal and drink when they dine in. Veterans who dine-in on Thursday will receive a BOGO discount that can be used Nov. 12-20.

    Carrabba’s Italian Grill: For veterans, service members, and first responders, there is a 10% discount per day.

    Chicken Salad Chick:Veterans and active-duty personnel get a free Chick Special, and a complimentary drink.

    Chili’s Grill & Bar: Free meal from a specially prepared menu for active and veteran military personnel

    Cicis Pizza:Veteran’s receive a complimentary adult buffet

    Cotton Patch CafeFree Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken with proof of military service at all locations.

    Cracker Barrel: With any purchase in-store, online or otherwise, veterans get a free slice from Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake For online orders, use promo code VETSDAY21.

    D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches: Retired and active military personnel can save 50% on their entire order on Thursday for carry-out and dine-in orders.

    Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: For veterans, get a free Pulled Pork Sandwich when you use the code VETFREE. This code is valid for both in-store and online orders.

    Einstein Bros. Bagels:For veterans, you get a free cup or iced coffee in any size. Excluded from the list are license stores in hospitals, airports, hotels, and colleges.

    Famous Dave’s:For active, inactive, or retired military personnel, get a free lunch Georgia Chopped Pork Sandwich.

    Farmer Boys:Free Big Cheese for Active, Ex-, or Retired Military Personnel

    Fazoli’s: Wednesday and Thursday: Free regular spaghetti with meat, or marinara.

    Fogo de Chão: 50% off meals for veterans and active-duty personnel plus 10% off for up to three guests’ meals.

    Freddy’s Frozen custard & Steakburgers:Freddy’s Thursday guests receive free combo meal cards. The cards can be used until Nov. 30 without the need to purchase. “necessary to receive or redeem the card,”The chain said.

    Friendly’s:Free cheeseburger, fries, and soft drink “to those who have honorably served.”

    Golden Chick:For active-duty military and veterans with ID, 10% ongoing discount

    Golden Corral: Thursday, 5-9 p.m.: Enjoy free dinner buffets and drinks “active duty, military personnel, retirees, National Guard, reserves and veterans of all branches of service.”

    Graeter’s Ice Cream: Veterans and current military personnel receive a free sundae

    Hard Rock Cafe: Active and retired military personnel get a free Legendary Steak Burger Military members can also use the chain’s 15% off military discount on other items.

    Hooters: Enjoy a free meal from a special menu and proof of service.

    Huddle House: For active-duty military personnel and veterans, a free MVP Breakfast Platter is available.

    Insomnia Cookies:Buy a product and receive a free six-pack of cookies. 

    Juice it up!: For active-duty military personnel and veterans, a 20-ounce classic smoothie is free.

    Kolache Factory: Veterans and active military get a free cup of coffee and kolache.

    Ledo Pizza: Active military personnel and veterans get $5 off orders greater than $20 when they present a valid ID.

    Little Caesars: For active military personnel and veterans, there is a free lunch option between 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. on Thursday

    Logan’s Roadhouse: Free American Roadhouse dinner between 3 and 6 p.m. on Thursday

    Love’s Travel Stops: Veterans and active-duty service members get an additional roller barbecue item with the purchase of one.

    Metro Diner: 50% Discount for active and retired military with valid ID, and 10% off year-round 

    Mission BBQ: Free sandwich for veterans.

    Nekter Juice Bar: Free 16-ounce Superfood Smoothie or Fresh Juice.

    Ninety Nine Restaurant & Bar: From 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday, receive a free meal from the Veterans Day special menu.

    O’Charley’s Restaurant and Bar: Free meal from a special menu available to veterans and active-duty personnel

    Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom: Free starter up to $11.99 with the purchase of an entrée for veterans.

    The Border:Veterans get a free Pick 2 combo

    Papa Gino’s: 50% off whole pizzas for dine-in and carry-out orders for retired and active military. Online orders are not eligible.

    Perkins Restaurant & Bakery: Active-duty military veterans and veterans receive a free Magnificent Seven breakfast.

    Pilot Flying J: All active-duty military personnel and retired military personnel can apply. A $10 meal credit is includedMore than 750 U.S. travel agencies are participating, including One9 Fuel Network and Pilot centers. Veterans must verify their account in myRewards PlusTM to get this deal.

    Pollo Tropical:All active-duty and veterans receive a free quarter chicken meal with two side dishes.

    Qdoba Mexican Meals: 50% off any entrée in-store for active military and veterans.

    Red LobsterFor veterans, active-duty military, and reservists, there is no charge for an appetizer or dessert.

    Red Robin: Through Nov. 14, Red Robin Military Royalty members get a free Red’s Tavern Double Burger, available for dining in or to go. Active military and veterans must register for the loyalty program by Nov. 1st to get this deal.

    Ruby Tuesday: Active military and veterans get a free Garden Bar Entree 

    Schlotzsky’s: Free small drink and chips with entrée purchase for veterans and active-duty military. Redeem the offer at participating locations and you will receive a $5 reward coupon that can be used for future purchases.

    Shoney’s: Breakfast bar available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. local.

    Smashburger: Veteran’s: Free Single Classic

    Smoothie King:All veterans and active-duty military personnel receive a free 20-ounce smoothie of their choice.

    Sonny’s BBQ:Takeout or dining in: Veterans and active military get a free Pork Big Deal combination

    Stewart’s Shops:The chain will offer 50 cent ice cream cones to all customers on Thursday.

    Taco John’s: Get a small Beef Combo for free when you use the code VETERAN on the mobile app

    TGI Fridays: Enjoy a free select meal between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

    Torchy’s Tacos:For veterans who order dine-in or pick-up, there is a free taco or non-alcoholic drink.

    Twin Peaks: For active and retired military, a free meal from a special menu is available when you dine in.

    WaBa Grill: The chain offers a buy-one, get-one deal on all WaBa bowls for veterans and active-duty troops Thursday online and in-store

    Wienerschnitzel:Veterans and active-duty military receive a free Chili Dog, small fries, and small Pepsi if they show their U.S. military ID.

    Yard HouseFree appetizer

    Follow Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY reporter, on Twitter: @KellyTyko. Join us for shopping news and tips. our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group

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