I had a $25 gift card for Christmas '07 and invited my friend of twenty-five years to lunch on Feb. '08, whom I haven't seen in all that time. I made up the difference between the gift card and my final bill.
In my opinion, the food was mediocre at best.
The ONLY plus of the whole dining experience was the effervescent personality of the waitress. She made me forget all the minus's of the whole dining experience and I tipped her accordingly, meaning a very good gratuity.
Needless to say, I have yet to return to an Applebee's since.