(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer | By Doris Dumlao-Abadilla | June 16, 2015)
American family dining chain Applebee’s Grill and Bar, the world’s largest casual restaurant chain, is breaking into the Philippine market as part of its aspiration to establish a formidable business across Asia Pacific.
The first Applebee’s store in the country is set to open in Bonifacio Global City in July and the second will be in Eastwood City, New York Stock Exchange-listed DineEquity Inc., which owns food franchises Applebee’s and IHOP, announced Monday.
“The Asia Pacific region is clearly one of our greatest opportunities for growth across both our brands, and we are delighted with the success and the warm reception we have received from our guests in the restaurants that have opened there,” said Daniel del Olmo, president of International DineEquity.
Del Olmo and other top officials of DineEquity were in town yesterday to sign an agreement with current local IHOP franchisee, Global Restaurant Concepts Inc. to bring Applebee’s to the Philippines. This agreement provides for the development of initially three Applebee’s locations. DineEquity’s local partner, Global Restaurant Concepts, operates seven IHOP restaurants in the Philippines.
“Global Restaurant Concepts Inc. has been a great franchise partner—in fact, they were named IHOP’s International Franchisee of the Year for 2014—and they have done a terrific job of incorporating local favorites and flavors in our menu,” said Del Olmo.
Applebee’s—deemed as the “quintessential” American family diner —has been serving handcrafted burgers, steaks, ribs, sandwiches and salads and appetizers since the first location debuted as “Applebee’s RX for Edibles and Elixirs” 35 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Applebee’s now operates in more than 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one US territory.
“Based on the largest international consumer research study in our company’s history, we have created a distinctive brand evolution that guests will see across all touch points in their experience, all built around the fact that at Applebee’s, there’s always a reason to celebrate,” Del Olmo said.
Estimated investment in an Applebee’s restaurant was placed at $500,000 while for IHOP, the estimated investment per restaurant was under $300,000.
Archie Rodriguez, chief executive officer of Global Restaurant Concepts, said in a briefing yesterday that the Applebee’s restaurants to be rolled out in the Philippines would carry the new store design and brand positioning recently introduced by the restaurant chain.