By April Benshosan
Your neighborhood bar and grill might be closing up shop soon.
If you’re used to spotting multiple Applebee’s restaurants all around town, you may be in for a surprise. After closing 46 restaurants in 2016, the popular casual dining chain recently announced that it’s planning to shut down between 105 and 135 of its nearly 2,000 nationwide locations by the end of the year.
While the company hasn’t revealed exactly which stores would be shutting their doors, Applebee’s president John Cywinski told investors in a sales call that they would be targeting locations that didn’t hit sales targets as well as those in less-trafficked areas.
“These restaurants need to close and perhaps should have closed long ago,” Cywinski told investors, adding that closing down the “underperforming and perhaps brand damaging restaurants” won’t significantly impact overall sales performance.
Even after the chain attempted to rebrand itself over the past few years toward “a more youthful and affluent demographic with a more independent or even sophisticated dining mindset,” according to Cywinski, it didn’t help efforts to cease the sales slump. In fact, executives agreed that one of the reasons Applebee’s is struggling is because of its (failed) attempts at appealing to millennials.
And it seems like Applebee’s sister restaurant’s performance isn’t up to par, either. DineEquity Inc., the parent company that operates and franchises both Applebee’s and IHOP, is also considering closing 25 IHOP locations after sales plummeted, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.
While the neighborhood bar and grill continues to make changes and revamp its customers’ dining experience, brush up on these 15 Things To Know About Applebees Nutrition before bidding farewell with a plate of half-priced apps.
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