If you’re a military veteran or still serving in the military, a lot of food businesses want to thank you for your service. (Including me: Thank you, from the daughter of a combat vet.) In fact, if you schedule it right, you can eat free all day long. Make sure you have your military ID or proof of your discharge with you and then take your pick of some of the options:
Bob Evans: Free meal, including breakfast selections and country-fried steak dinner. 9253 Statesville Road in Charlotte and 16706 Northcross Drive in Huntersville.
Cracker Barrel: Free serving of double chocolate fudge Coca-Cola cake all day. 3203 Queen City Drive (I-85 and Mulberry Road), 9330 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews, and half the interstate exits in America.
Dunkin’ Donuts: A free doughnut. One per person, no other purchase necessary. 200 S. College St., 231 N. Graham St. and 1831 South Blvd.
Hickory Tavern: Half off all food and nonalcoholic beverages all day. Find locations online.
JJ’s Red Hots: Anything you want, except alcoholic beverages, including hot dogs, hot dog combos, sausage, sides, other beverages and dessert. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. 1514 East Blvd. and 15105 N. John Delaney Drive in Ballantyne.
On the Border Mexican Grill. Free combo meal. 10710 Providence Road and 8315 Northlake Commons Blvd.
Red Robin: Free double burger and steak fries. 8425 Northlake Commons Blvd., 8304 Kenbrooke Drive (Harris Boulevard) and 3415 Toringdon Way.
Texas Roadhouse restaurants: Free lunch for veterans and active-duty military personnel, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Choice of 10 entrees, two sides and a soft drink, iced tea or coffee. Locations are 7801 Gateway Lane, Concord, 1020 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd. SE, Hickory, 2367 Dave Lyle Blvd., Rock Hill, 1863 Remount Road, Gastonia, and 10450 E. Independence Blvd., Matthews.
Tijuana Flats. 50 percent off any entree at all locations.
Your Pie: A free pizza. 2400 South Blvd.
Zoes Kitchen: Free entree at lunch and dinner, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Available at Midtown, 1055 Metropolitan Ave., 1823 E. Arbors Drive and 6100 Fairview Road..