Applebee’s is known for being generic.
The restaurant’s sales are down for the third consecutive quarter, reports Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek. Now, executives are “hitting the reset button” to improve business.
Applebee’s has struggled to differentiate from competitors like Chilli’s and Buffalo Wild Wings. The brand has also faced mounting competition from fast-casual brands like Five Guys and Panera Bread.
Here are the changes the brand is making.
1. Location-specific menu item. Applebee’s is testing the first location-specific menu item: a grilled Vidalia onion steak in Georgia, reports Nation’s Restaurant News. While the concept is currently limited to one item, this indicates that Applebee’s might be open to testing more regional menu items in the future.
2. Tablets in restaurants. Applebee’s is addressing customers’ least favourite thing about eating out — waiting for the check. The restaurant will let customers order certain items and pay by tablet by the end of the year, executives told USA Today.
3. Remodeling restaurants. Applebee’s is remodeling restaurants to have a more modern exterior. The kitchens have also been updated to prepare foods more quickly.
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