of casual dining
Applebee's International, Inc., headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, develops, franchises and operates casual dining restaurants in 49 states and twelve international
countries, under the trademark of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar®. IPO 1989. Trades on NASDAQ as APPB. The founders, Bill and T.J. Palmer, opened their first restaurant in 1980, and in 1983 sold the business. The Palmers became franchisees and now own 22 Applebees in Atlanta. Marketed as "America's Favorite Neighbor®," each Applebee's reflects the neighborhood in which it is located, via decor featuring photographs and memorabilia of local heroes, schools, and history. As of December, 2003, there were 1,585 Applebee's restaurants open system-wide (including 383 company and 1,202 franchise restaurants). Since 1993, the company has consistently opened 100 or more restaurants a year. Already the largest casual dining brand in the world, and number one in market share in the U.S., they plan to keep expanding (estimating saturation at 3000 restaurants). By sales, Applebee's is the ninth largest restaurant chain in the United States. Applebee's already has restaurants open in Canada, Holland, Sweden, Greece, Kuwait, Egypt, and Mexico.