Usually, Applebee's draws in customers with deals like two-for-$20 entrees. However, tomorrow some New Yorkers are prepared to spend almost 20 times that much for a ticket at the $375 Applebee's New Year's Eve Party.
Two Applebee's locations in the Times Square "lock-down zone" are offering customers a buffet, open bar, DJ and dance floor for $375. The major draw of the event is its location -- within striking distance of the famous Time's Square midnight ball drop.
The bash has very little in common with the typical "night out" at the chain. "In every step you make you will be submersed in crowds of people from all walks of life, from all areas of the world, in all ages!" promises the event website. "There is nowhere else in the world, except the Olympics, that you will be around such a diverse group of people!"
Zane Tankel, the franchisee who owns the two Applebee's where the event will occur, claims the restaurants are typically "filled up through the rafters" on New Year's Eve. Tankel expects about 500 customers at each restaurant this year, with a strong out-of-town and international showing.
Ninety-nine percent of Applebee's are franchised, allowing franchisees the freedom to hold creative events unique to their restaurant's locations. The two Applebee's holding New Year's bashes are owned by Tankel's company, Apple-Metro Inc., which owns a total of 36 Applebee's in New York's five boroughs, Westchester and Rockland counties.
Other chains are getting in on the action as well. TGI Friday's has a "Couple's Champagne VIP Package" for $1,095 in its Times Square location. Ruby Tuesday's Time Square restaurant has tickets going for $295, with $495 platinum VIP options.