Your local Applebee’s may be closing soon, as the struggling casual restaurant chain tries to turn its business around.
In an August 10 news release, Applebee’s reported that comparable same-restaurant sales declined 6.2% for the second quarter of 2017, and they’re expected to range between negative 6% and negative 8% for fiscal 2017.
DineEquity Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s, described this as a “transitional year” for the chain.
Applebee’s is closing more than 100 restaurants
As part of its turnaround strategy, more restaurants will be closed than initially planned. The company now expects to shut down between 105 and 135 of its nearly 2,000 Applebee’s locations.
In May, the expectation was that 40 to 60 restaurants would be shuttered in fiscal 2017.
No list of the affected locations has been released. Applebee’s says the expected closures will be based on several criteria, including franchisee profitability, operational results and meeting brand quality standards.
Applebee’s president John Cywinski said the turnaround won’t happen overnight, but an action plan is in place that will focus on simplifying operations while elevating the guest experience.
Value, presentation and taste are all priorities — and you may see guest favorites from the past return to the menu.
Applebee’s latest attempt to bring customers back is its new Topped & Loaded menu. Starting at $10.99, the customizable lineup features four protein choices, three toppers and four side options.
Despite the closings, Applebee’s franchisees are expected to open 20-30 new restaurants, mostly outside the U.S.
Clark’s key takeaway
Money expert Clark Howard is recommending that you avoid buying restaurant and retail gift cards right now because so many locations are shutting down without notice.
Instead, just give cash — that way, you won’t have to worry about a store closing.