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Applebee's International


Applebee's is an international restaurant chain known for its quick, affordable, yet full-flavored American dishes. The brand is known by Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Applebee's Grill, and simply Applebee's. Menu items vary from steak and ribs to pasta and tacos, and most locations offer a full bar for alcoholic beverages. Outside of dine-in options, the chain provides a catering menu, curbside pickup, and has recently started online deliveries. Much of Applebee's popularity derives from its food and drink offers, including the famous 2 for $20 deal and $1-3 monthly drinks.

Facts & Figures

Liquid capital required
Net worth required
$1,000,000 - $7,073,036
Franchise fee
Units in operation
Franchising Since


Applebee's Franchise Opportunities - History

Applebee's story begins in 1980, when Bill and TJ Palmer opened T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles and Elixers in Atlanta, Georgia. After only three years, the two brothers sold the Applebee's concept to W.R. Grace and Company, who turned the brand into a franchise. In 1986 the name of the brand was changed to Applebee’s neighborhood bar and grill, and in 1989 Applebee’s International, Inc. (A.I.I.) joined the New York Stock Exchange. By 1995, there were more than 500 Applebee's locations and A.I.I. had purchased Mexican cuisine chain Rio Bravo Cantinas, which it later sold to Chevy's. In 2008, A.I.I. merged with IHOP (commonly known under its brand name International House of Pancakes) to form what is now known as Dine Brands Global Inc. (formerly DineEquity, Inc.), one of the world's largest full-service dining companies and a 100% franchised organization.

Applebee's Franchise Cost / Initial Investment / Applebee's Franchise Income

Opening an Applebee's franchise requires an upfront franchise fee of $35,000 and a total initial investment of $1,967,438 to $7,073,036, which includes (but isn't limited to) the cost of acquiring the underlying real estate, store build-out, permits, equipment and furniture, training, systems, and 3 months' operating cushion. There is a 4% royalty on gross sales, payable monthly to the franchisor. In addition, franchisees are mandated to contribute 3.50% of gross sales into the system's national advertising fund and dedicate 0.25% of gross sales toward local advertising in their territory.

Applebee's Franchise System Size and Composition

There are approximately 2,000 Applebee's units worldwide, all of which are franchised. The vast majority of the restaurants are located in the United States, though approximately 10% are in international markets. Systemwide, Applebee's franchises generate around $4.7 billion of annual revenues and employ around 30,000 people, making it the biggest casual dining franchise in the world.


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