|Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founded||November 19, 1980
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
T. J. Palmer
|Headquarters||Glendale, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
|John Cywinski, President|
|Revenue||US$2.5 billion (2006)|
|US$131 million (2006)|
|US$81 million (2006)|
|US$935 million (2006)|
|US$487 million (2006)|
Number of employees
|Divisions||Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar|
Applebee's International, Inc. is an American company which develops, franchises, and operates the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar restaurant chain.
As of December 2015, there were 2,033 restaurants operating system-wide in the United States, one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico), and 15 other countries, all owned and operated by franchisees. The company was headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, after moving from Lenexa, Kansas, in September 2011. On September 3, 2015, it was announced that owner DineEquity would be consolidating its headquarters for Applebee's and IHOP to DineEquity's Glendale, California, location. As a result, President Steven R. Layt chose not to relocate and resigned effective September 4, 2015.
The Applebee's concept focuses on casual dining, with mainstream American dishes such as salads, shrimp, chicken, pasta, and "riblets" (which is considered Applebee's signature dish). All Applebee's restaurants feature a bar area and serve alcoholic beverages (except where prohibited by law).
On August 11, 2017, DineEquity announced that Applebee's will close between 105 and 135 locations by the end of the year.
The Applebee's chain was started by Bill and T. J. Palmer, who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, in Decatur, Georgia, on November 19, 1980. After opening their second restaurant, the pair sold their company to W. R. Grace and Company in 1983. As part of the transaction, Bill Palmer was named president of the Applebee's Division, an indirect subsidiary of W. R. Grace and Company. In that capacity, Palmer guided the operation from its entrepreneurial beginnings to a full-fledged franchise system. He became an Applebee's franchisee in 1985 and today owns more than three dozen Applebee's restaurants.
In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar to reflect the Palmers' original concept of a place people could call their own. In 1988, Applebee's International, Inc., became the restaurant chain's franchiser when Kansas City franchisees Abe Gustin and John Hamra purchased the rights to the Applebee's concept from W. R. Grace.
On July 16, 2007, IHOP Corp. announced that it agreed to buy Applebee's International for about $2.1 billion. Applebee's shareholders would receive $25.50 in cash per share, representing a 4.6% premium to the closing price on July 13, 2007. After the acquisition, IHOP Corp. changed its name to DineEquity, Inc. DineEquity, which franchises nearly all of its restaurants, said it hoped to employ that strategy with Applebee's. With their merger in November 2007, Applebee's and IHOP combined to make the largest full-service restaurant company in the world, with more than 3,250 locations.
Applebee's Kansas City-area headquarters was at 3929 Broadway in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1988. In 1993, it relocated to Overland Park, Kansas. In January 2008, it relocated to neighboring Lenexa, Kansas, per an agreement made in 2005 before it was taken over by IHOP (now DineEquity) to a new 175,000-square-foot (16,300 m2) building designed by BNIM (lured by a 90 percent property tax reduction offer). However, DineEquity has since been downsizing the headquarters presence as it has begun a strategy of converting its company-owned restaurants to franchises with a goal of having 98 percent of its restaurants franchised by 2013. In July 2008, DineEquity sold the headquarters (officially called the Restaurant Support Center) for $39 million in a sale-leaseback arrangement. The company has now listed the headquarters for sale and is reported looking for new space after it was announced on January 30, 2009, that its headquarters staff of 325 did not meet Lenexa's requirement that at least 497 be employed at the headquarters to receive the property tax abatement. In 2011, it announced plans to relocate to 8140 Ward Parkway in Kansas City proper after receiving $12.65 million in incentives from Missouri.
This section needs to be updated.(September 2016)
As part of the company's marketing campaign and slogan, Wanda Sykes was hired to voice the chain's new mascot, the Applebee's Apple. The character appears in commercials touting Applebee's various specials and stating the new slogan, "Together is good." or saying, "Get it together, baby!" as the slogan appears at the bottom right of the screen. A new campaign started on February 25, 2008, without Sykes' character (the spokesapple) with its slogan, "It's a whole new neighborhood." The commercials used both the company's original and new logos. In 2009, Applebee's changed its slogan again to "There's no place like the neighborhood."
In late September 2017[when?], Applebee's brought back its most famous slogan from the early-to-mid 2000s, "Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood." They also engaged in an alcohol-based advertising campaign to attract new customers by having a "drink of the month" at a reduced price.
This section needs to be updated.(March 2017)
Since 2006, Applebee's and its servers have been engaged in a lawsuit over hourly wages. The servers, who received a federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour as tipped employees, allege that the company requires them to spend 20% of their time doing non-serving labor for which they should be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The case has gone through several stages, including a judicially mandated binding arbitration session.