The franchise operator of Applebee’s restaurants in central and northern Delaware has no plans to close locations.
Greg Flynn, CEO of Flynn Restaurant Group, the parent company of Apple American Group made the announcement Friday. DineEquity, the parent company of the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar brand earlier announced it would close more than 100 IHOP and Applebee’s locations.
Flynn and other franchise owners were quick to respond to the reports, which did not list locations to be closed or the fact that most Applebee’s are franchised.
“We, Apple American Group, a subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group, wanted to assure our valued guests and employees that this announcement in no way affects franchised Applebee’s locations that we own and operate. Apple American Group is supported by the strong financial footing of Flynn Restaurant Group and has no plans to close any restaurants at this time,” Flynn stated. “ Our Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar locations are 100 percent open for business and we look forward to continuing to deliver an excellent dining experience that our guests have grown to love.”
Applebee’s, which now calls itself Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar has struggled with changing tastes among diners, 1980s décor, and the challenge of maintaining quality and service at nearly 2,000 restaurants.
The company is said to have abandoned an effort to appeal to millennials, seeking more adventurous food and drink, a strategy that upset its core market of older diners in middle America.
Similar challenges have faced other mature casual dining chains such as Chili’s and Ruby Tuesday’s.
Efforts to update décor and food offerings at Applebee’s have been under way for years.
Founded in 1999 by Greg Flynn, the San Francisco-based Flynn Restaurant Group owns and operates 477 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants, 274 Taco Bell and related Yum! Brand restaurants, and 130 Panera Bread bakery-cafes. Further information is available at www.flynnrg.com.