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Applebee’s History – Founding, Growth, National Chain, International Expansion

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Applebee’s History – Discover the fascinating story behind Applebee’s. From its humble beginnings in Georgia to becoming a beloved American restaurant chain, learn about the people, places, and events that shaped its history.

Applebee’s is a popular American restaurant chain that was founded in 1980 by Bill and T.J. Palmer in Decatur, Georgia. Over the years, Applebee’s has become a staple in the casual dining scene, with over 1,800 locations in the United States and around the world.

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Applebee’s History And Growing Stages

Here are some key milestones in the history of Applebee’s:

Applebee's History

  1. Founding: Applebee’s was founded in 1980 by Bill and T.J. Palmer, who opened their first restaurant in Decatur, Georgia. The restaurant was called T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs and featured a menu of comfort food and drinks.
  2. Growth: The Palmer’s opened several more restaurants in Georgia and neighboring states over the next few years. In 1986, they sold the company to W.R. Grace and Company. It helped to fund its expansion into a national chain.
  3. National chain: By the early 1990s, Applebee’s had over 100 locations across the country. It continued to grow throughout the decade, opening new restaurants and introducing new menu items such as the Oriental Chicken Salad and the Quesadilla Burger.
  4. International expansion: In the 2000s, Applebee’s began to expand into international markets, with locations opening in countries such as Mexico, Canada, and Saudi Arabia.

Changes in ownership – Applebee’s History

In 2007, Applebee’s was acquired by IHOP Corp. (now Dine Brands Global) for $2.1 billion. The company underwent a series of changes under its new ownership, including menu revamps, store remodels, and the introduction of new technologies such as online ordering and tabletop tablets.

  1. Continued growth: Today, Applebee’s is a thriving chain with over 1,800 locations worldwide. It continues to introduce new menu items and promotions, such as the popular “2 for $20” meal deal, and remains a go-to spot for casual dining and socializing.
  2. Brand refresh: In 2013, Applebee underwent a major brand refresh that included a new logo, menu design, and restaurant layout. The company aimed to update its image and attract a younger, more diverse audience.
  3. Community involvement: Applebee’s has a long history of supporting local communities through charitable giving and volunteer work. The company partners with organizations such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and No Kid Hungry to raise funds and awareness for important causes.
  4. Popular menu items: Over the years, Applebee’s has introduced many popular menu items that have become fan favorites. Some of these include the Fiesta Lime Chicken, Bourbon Street Steak, and Triple Chocolate Meltdown dessert.

Advertising campaigns

Applebee’s has launched several memorable advertising campaigns over the years, including the “Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood” slogan and the “Bigger, Bolder Grill Combos” commercials featuring actor Michael Rapaport.

Challenges and controversies: Like many large companies, Applebee’s has faced its share of challenges and controversies over the years. In 2013, the company came under fire for firing a waitress who posted a customer’s receipt on social media. In 2017, a franchisee faced criticism for alleged racial discrimination against African American customers.

Throughout its history, Applebee’s has remained committed to its core values of providing a welcoming and comfortable dining experience, serving delicious food and drinks, and supporting its local communities through charitable giving and community engagement.

Applebee’s Stock Price History [Applebee’s History]

  • Applebee’s is a subsidiary of Dine Brands Global, Inc.
  • Dine Brands Global, Inc. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “DIN.”
  • As a subsidiary, Applebee’s does not have its own independent stock price history.
  • To track the stock price history of Dine Brands Global, Inc., one would need to look at historical data for the “DIN” ticker symbol on financial websites or platforms.
  • Stock prices can fluctuate based on various factors, including company performance, industry trends, and broader economic conditions.

Applebee’s Logo History [Applebee’s History]

  • 1980s: Applebee’s original logo featured a red apple with a green leaf, positioned above the restaurant’s name in red font.
  • 1990s: The logo was updated to feature a more stylized apple, with a lowercase “a” and “b” forming the apple’s shape, while “Applebee’s” was written in bold black font below.
  • 2000s: A modernized version of the logo emerged, with the apple icon simplified and enclosed in a rounded square, accompanied by a cleaner font for the restaurant’s name.
  • 2010s: Applebee’s introduced a contemporary logo with a sleeker apple icon, featuring a gradient effect and a shift towards a more minimalist design aesthetic.
  • Present: The current logo maintains the iconic apple symbol but with a flatter, more streamlined appearance, reflecting a blend of tradition and modernity in its design.


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