On January 17th, Applebee’s announced the ultimate “Date Night Pass,” which gets you $30 worth of food or non-alcoholic drinks once a week for an entire year. The pass, which went on sale on January 22nd at 12 p.m. ET, sold out in less than a minute. Applebee’s is famous for its dining deals, like the $1 margaritas that took over the internet in October. Nothing against Applebees, but going there every week seems like overkill, so why was this deal in such high demand?

Did the Applebee's Date Night Pass sell out?

Applebee’s marketed the “Date Night Pass” as a way for couples to keep going on dates, even as the price of doing so has increased. But the thing that really captured national attention was the mathematical value. The pass costs $200 to buy, but $30 worth of food every week amounts to over $1,500. Girl math: that’s like making $1,300.

The pass is physical, like a gift card, and can be used to pay the check just like a normal credit or debit card. If you’re ordering online or getting takeout, you can enter the ten digit pin. It’s not limited to one use a week, pass-holders are just limited to 52 occasions. So technically, you could have $30 worth of Applebees every day for two months. The pass is valid 2/1/2024 through 1/31/2025, and is valid at all but 16 Applebee's locations.

The Controversy

It’s giving us Taylor Swift Ticketmaster flashbacks. Some people didn’t get into the purchasing queue, some people were shown an error message, and it seems like there were more people who didn’t get the pass than people who did. Applebee’s has not disclosed exactly how many Date Night Passes were available in the first place, but there’s a rumor going around Reddit that it was only about 250. Many people are upset about how much the deal was advertised just for it to be so inaccessible. The general opinion of many angry X users is that Applebee’s was just using this for social media attention. If that’s true, they certainly got it.

“The Date Night Pass sale this week showed us that our guests are hungry for date night at Applebee’s — just prior to sale time there were nearly 100,000 guests waiting to try and snag a Date Night Pass,” a statement from Applebee’s released to TODAY reads. “Our passes sold out in less than one minute to guests in 41 states — far exceeding our expectations. We apologize to our guests who were disappointed that the limited number of passes sold out so quickly. We’re always looking for ways to make date night special for our guests and look forward to sharing future offers.”

A couple of users on TikTok have flexed their golden Applebee's ticket, but most of the TikTok content is users enraged that they sold out in the blink of an eye. But I’d say that Applebees still has plenty of good deals to make dining out cheap: The 2 for $20, the all-you-can-eat wings, riblets, and shrimp, and half-priced apps after 9 p.m.