If you’re thinking about a family outing to Applebee’s, think again.
Sure, families are still welcome at Applebee’s, but unfortunately, they’re no longer the target customers of the Kansas City, Missouri based restaurant chain. In a new series of television advertisements, Applebee’s announced that they’re “going back to what we do best.” This includes rebranding themselves as a Bar & Grill.
In their new TV ad, sports fans, couples, work colleagues, & groups of friends are portrayed as having a great time at Applebee’s. Newbies walk through the door and admire “what’s new”, alcohol is served, & late night celebration is touted. None of these things are exactly family-friendly, and apparently, this is what Applebee’s is hoping for. According to the commercial, they want old customers, who perhaps left because of the family-friendly atmosphere, to “come on back” and “see what’s new.” Nary a kid in sight.
Just last year, Applebee’s was promoting an expanded kids’ menu and a more family-friendly atmosphere in a series of commercials with the “See You Tomorrow” slogan. In previous commercials that aired in the 2000’s & early 2010’s, families, grandparents, & little athletes were enjoying their meal at their local Applebee’s, but now the restaurant chain wants to replace them with a different crowd: Millenials, late-night partiers and the like. To help propel this new idea, Applebee’s has introduced several new things.
- Applebee’s now serves what they call “Snack & Apps.” This part of their new menu has over twenty options, all inspired by the bar. The new menu also includes added cocktails.
- Applebee’s urges you to try their new “Pub Diet”, which features “all of your Bar & Grill favorites, but made a little better for you.”
- Applebee’s classic All-In Burgers, which debuted in August of last year, have been re-imagined as well. The restaurant now smashes and sears “the pickles, bacon and onions right inside a 100% fresh ground beef patty.”
- Focusing on music is apparently another goal. “Great bars know great music,” says Applebee’s.
So the next time your family visits Applebee’s, don’t expect a family-friendly atmosphere. The bar will be crowded, Pub Diet items will be selling like hotcakes, and you’ll likely incur a wait, due to the Millenials that Applebee’s is now welcoming with open arms, er…bottles.
Learn more at www.applebees.com/whatsnew.
Applebee’s operates over 2,000 locations worldwide. It was founded in 1980 in the Atlanta suburb of Decatur, Georgia by Bill & TJ Palmer as T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs. In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar. When IHOP purchased Applebee’s for over $2 billion in 2007, IHOP became DineEquity Inc. and Applebee’s changed their logo for the first time since 27 years. Confusingly, Applebee’s headquarters have always been in the Kansas City area- they were first within the city limits, then in nearby Overland Park, and finally Lenexa, Kansas, before IHOP took over and moved headquarters back to Kansas City, Missouri. The chain’s current slogan, “See You Tomorrow,” was introduced in 2012.
(Sources: Applebee’s, Huff Post, iSpot.tv, Wikipedia)
All uncredited images are courtesy of Applebee’s Inc.