|This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
|Wholly owned subsidiary|
|Founded||Decatur, Georgia, United States (January 1, 1980 )|
|Founder||Bill Palmer, TJ Palmer|
|Headquarters||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
Number of locations
|Julia Stewart, CEO of DineEquity, Inc.
Steven Layt, President
|Revenue||US$2.52 billion (2006)|
|US$130.78 million (2006)|
|US$80.91 million (2006)|
|Total assets||US$935.4 million (2006)|
|Total equity||US$486.65 million (2006)|
Number of employees
Applebee’s International, Inc., is an American company which develops, franchises, and operates the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurant chain. As of December 2011, there were 2,019 restaurants operating system-wide in the United States, one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) and 15 other countries. The company is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri after moving from Lenexa, Kansas in September 2011.
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).
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. From 1993 to 2005, Applebee's opened 100 or more new restaurants each year. The company estimates the development potential of the Applebee's concept in the United States to be at least 3,000 restaurants.
Acquisition by DineEquity
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. “We believe we have an opportunity to re-energize the brand and get franchisees, employees and guests all sort of thinking about the brand in a different way,” Julia Stewart, DineEquity's chairman and chief executive officer, said. “Obviously, we have opportunities to find points of differentiation – things that no one has but Applebee’s – and I think the future is very bright.”
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 that its headquarters staff of 325 on January 30, 2009 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.
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." As of 2012, Applebee's is airing an advertising campaign focusing on fresh ingredients and new dishes, narrated by Jason Sudeikis, featuring the slogan, "See you tomorrow".
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.
- Form 10-Q June 30, 2013 (p. 22) report
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- "IHOP Corp. Successfully Completes the Acquisition of Applebee's International, Inc." (Press release). IHOP Corp. November 29, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
- Palmer, T.J. Applebees founder history. "Opening. Retrieved on April 16, 2012.
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