Careers at Applebee’s International


Applebee’s International Inc (“Applebee’s”) seeks to provide an enjoyable, comfortable, and efficient casual dining experience to customers, offering a wide range of high quality food and beverage items at affordable prices.


Applebee's was founded by Bill and T. J. Palmer, who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles and Elixirs, in Decatur, Georgia in November 1980. 

The pair later opened a second restaurant, and in 1983 the chain was acquired by W.R Grace and Company. 

Following the acquisition, Bill Palmer was appointed President of the Applebee's Division, which functioned as an indirect subsidiary of W. R. Grace and Company.  Bill Palmer became an Applebee's franchisee in 1985 and continues to owns more a number of Applebee's restaurants.

In 1986, the chain took on the name Applebee's Neighbourhood Grill and Bar in a bid to reflect the intended atmosphere of the restaurants as a comfortable, neighbourhood hangout. 

Kansas City-based franchisees Abe Gustin and John Hamra purchased the rights to the Applebee's concept from W. R. Grace and Company in 1988, following which Applebee's International Inc became the chain's franchiser.

The Company went on to expand its operations, through the opening of company owned and franchised restaurants throughout the remainder of the twentieth century.

In 2007, restaurant chain IHOP Corp acquired Applebee’s International for a reported USD 2.1 billion.  Bothe the Applebee’s and IHOP chains are now organised under the umbrella of Dine Brands Global Inc (“Dine Brands”). 

Applebee’s currently operates a network of more than 1,700 franchised restaurants and more than 60 company-owned and operated restaurants across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Business model of Applebee’s International

Customer Segments

Applebee’s serves a large consumer base covering a range of demographics. 

The Company’s core customers typically fall into one or more the following categories:

  • Older Consumers, comprising customers that fall into the 35 to 54 age range, who are often married and or have children;
  • Events and Groups, comprising groups and parties that are either organising or attending formally organised or informally organised events, such as corporate celebrations and birthday parties; and
  • Value Seekers, comprising customers who enjoy casual dining restaurants but are attracted to deals and value rather than being loyal to a single brand.

In recent years, Applebee’s made attempts to attract a younger, more affluent, millennial customer base.  The Company, however, did not have much success and has since switched its focus back to its core demographics.

Applebee’s is based in the US, which is the Company’s principal operating market.  The Company also serves an international customer base across markets in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Value Propositions

Applebee’s provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Brand Recognition and Reputation – Since its foundation, Applebee’s has established itself as one of the most well-known and popular casual dining restaurants chains in North America, having earned a positive reputation for offering an enjoyable and reliable dining experience;
  • Sales and Service Reach Applebee’s operates an extensive network of restaurant locations, comprising more than 1,800 owned and franchised outlets across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, ensuring that its services are accessible to as broad a customer base as possible;
  • Comfort and Atmosphere – Applebee’s provides a consistent dining experience across its network of restaurants, that offers a comfortable, efficient, and relaxed dining experience regardless of the restaurant’s location;
  • Customer Service – Applebee’s seeks to provide excellent, friendly, and efficient customer service to its customers via its in-store service staff, ensuring that every customer’s dining experience is enjoyable; and
  • Quality Food – Applebee’s offers its customers a varied menu of dishes, side dishes, and beverages created with fresh and high quality ingredients.


Applebee’s primarily serves its customers through its international network of casual dining locations. 

The Company’s network currently comprises more than 1,700 franchised restaurant outlets and more than 60 company owned outlets across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. 

At these locations, the Company serves its customers directly via a team of dedicated service and wait personnel. 

At selected locations, Applebee’s operate an online ordering and delivery service through its website at 

The Company also collaborates with third party online ordering company DoorDash in certain locations, through which customers can also access the Company’s menu and place orders.

Customer Relationships

Applebee’s seeks to secure recurring business from its customers by providing high quality products and a consistent, comfortable and enjoyable dining experience across its international network of restaurants. 

The Company’s principal point of contact for its customers is its in-restaurant service and wait personnel, who are on hand to take orders, respond to queries and complaints, and offer advice on menu items.

As noted above, Applebee’s operates a website, through which it provides information to customers on a self-service basis, including a restaurant location service, food and drinks menus, and information on the Company’s structure. 

The Company also operates a membership and rewards program, which can be accessed online and through the Company’s mobile app, which enable customers to access discounts, special offers, and exclusive promotions. 

Applebee’s is additionally able to interact with its customers and communicate company updates through its various social media accounts, including with  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Key Activities

Applebee's is an operator of a chain of casual dining locations. 

The Company is engaged in the development, franchising, and operation of more than 1,800 casual-dining locations across North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. 

Its menu includes beef, chicken, and pork items, as well as burgers, pastas and seafood, sandwiches, and other products. 

The Company operates its restaurants under the Applebee's Neighbourhood Grill and Bar brand name.  Applebee’s was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. 

As of November 2007, Applebee's operates as a subsidiary of Dine Brands, which also owns and operates a chain of restaurants under the IHOP brand name.

Key Partners

Applebee’s works in close conjunction with a. broad network of partner companies that support its core operations. 

These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of produce, food items and beverages, and equipment that are used across the Company’s network of restaurant locations, as well as third party providers of services that support the Company’s corporate activities more broadly;
  • Franchise and Operating Partners, comprising a range of foodservice companies, independent business figures, and other commercial entities that operates restaurants under the Applebee’s brand name on the Company’s behalf;
  • Community Partners, comprising a network of non-profits and charitable organisations with which the Company collaborates on social and community projects, primarily in its core domestic market; and
  • Strategic Partners, comprising a range of commercial enterprises and organisations with which the Company collaborates on strategic business development, branding, marketing, and other projects.

Applebee’s has a number of partnerships in place.  In recent years the Company has notably launched a service partnership with DoorDash, and charitable partnerships with Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and the National Federation of the Blind.

Key Resources

Applebee’s business model depends on its ability to offer an enjoyable and comfortable dining experience to its customers across its network of restaurants. 

As such, the Company’s key resources are its brand name and intellectual properties, its network of restaurants and outlets, its supplies and supply chain, its network of partners – in particular its franchisees, and its personnel. 

The Company’s most key assets are its network of more than 1,800 owned or franchised restaurant locations in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East, without which the business would not be able to function.

Cost Structure

Applebee’s incurs costs relating to the operation of its restaurant locations. 

This includes costs related to the procurement of produce and beverages, the operation of its restaurants and outlets – including utility and occupancy costs, the management of its partnerships, the procurement of third party services, the implementation of marketing and advertising campaigns, the development and maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, and the payment of salaries and benefits to its personnel. 

In 2018, Applebee’s recorded total franchise expenses in the amount of USD 35.1 million.  Its parent company recorded total advertising costs across both the Applebee’s and IHOP brands of USD 269.6 million. 

Revenue Streams

Applebee’s generates revenue through the operation of a network of casual dining restaurants across the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the middle East. 

The Company derives its revenue primarily in the form of sales fees collected directly from customers at point of sale, primarily through its physical restaurant locations, but also via its third party online ordering channel.  The Company also collects franchise fees from its franchisees.

In 2018, Applebee’s recorded total franchise revenue for the year in the amount of USD 176.6 million, up on the USD 168.8 million recorded by the Company in 2017. 

The Company accounted for around 27% of Dine Brands’ total revenue for the year.