12 things you didn't know about Applebee's

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderApplebee’s Neighbourhood Grill and Bar got its name out of a phone book.
  • Applebee’s Neighbourhood Grill and Bar faced a tough few years while struggling to attract millennial customers.
  • The restaurant chain made a comeback in 2018, in part thanks to the Dollarita.
  • Here are 12 things to know about Applebee’s.

Applebee’sNeighbourhood Grill and Bar: the restaurant that welcomes people to the neighbourhood with late-night appetizers, two-for-$US20 meal deals, and gloriously cheap cocktails.

Although we voted it a personal favourite, Applebee’s has faced a tough few years. But after struggling to attract millennials and closing more than 150 locations between 2017 and 2018, the quick-service restaurant chain made an unexpected comeback in 2018.

While you’re sipping on a dollar margarita or chowing down on mozzarella sticks, enjoy these 12 facts about one of the world’s favourite restaurant chains.

1. The founders picked the name out of a phone book

Founders Bill and T.J. Palmer looked for inspiration in a phone book and fell in love with the name “Appleby.” After finding there was already a copyright on the name, they changed it to “Applebee’s.”

2. The Palmers considered 2 other names for the restaurant

They considered “Cinnamon’s” and “Pepper’s” before settling on “Applebee’s.”

3. The first Applebee’s opened in Atlanta

The Palmers opened the first Applebee’s in Atlanta in 1980.

Applebee's 2Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderApplebee’s is known for bar food and gloriously cheap cocktails.

4. Applebee’s originally had a drug-store theme

The restaurant’s full name when it debuted was “T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs.”

5. By 1989, Applebee’s had 100 locations

Applebee’s spread across the country and opened 100 locations before the end of the decade. By 1998, they had 1,000 restaurants.

6. The biggest Applebee’s is 3 stories tall

The world’s largest Applebee’s sits just north of Times Square in New York City. It may be a whopping 3 stories high, but don’t fret – you can get the same great deals as you would at a normal-sized ‘Bee’s.

7. The Dollarita may have saved the restaurant from turmoil

When all else failed, cheap cocktails saved the day. The Dollarita, Applebee’s beloved $US1 margaritas, was introduced in October 2017 and kicked off a “cheap drinks revolution” that helped make the restaurant popular again.

Read more: We compared meals at Applebee’s and TGI Fridays as the chains battle for dominance, and the winner is clear

Applebee's 14Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderApplebee’s $US1 drinks helped bring the chain back from a sales slump.

8. Applebee’s cocktails are just as unique as they are inexpensive

Now the restaurant chain regularly comes up with new, creative cocktails. In 2018 they served Bahama Mama, Jolly Rancher, and Zombie cocktails – all for just $US1 each.

9. Applebee’s has almost 2,000 locations worldwide

Applebee’s is the largest casual-dining chain, with almost 2,000 locations around the world. You can find your favourite late-night appetizer deals in places such as Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Guam, and Indonesia.

10. Applebee’s hosted a New Year’s Eve party with $US375 tickets

In 2013, Applebee’s hosted a glamorous New Year’s Eve party in New York that cost $US375 per adult. Kids tickets cost a mere $US250. The upscale event featured an open bar, a DJ, and party favours.

Applebee's 13Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderApplebee’s is owned by Dine Brands Global.

11. IHOP and Applebee’s are sibling restaurants

Applebee’s and IHOP are both owned by Dine Brands Global.

12. Wanda Sykes once voiced the Applebee’s mascot

Actress and comedian Wanda Sykes once voiced the Applebee’s mascot, a talking Red Delicious apple that urged people to get together over dinner.

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