Soon they began franchising the concept. The Palmers opened a second restaurant and then sold the Applebee’s concept to W.R. Grace and Company in 1983.
In 1986, the restaurant name was changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill. In 1988, Applebee’s franchisee in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, Abe Gustin and partner John Hamra purchased the rights to Applebee’s concept from W.R Grace and created Applebee’s International. They later took it public in 1989.
In 1989, the company had 54 restaurants. When Gustin retired in December 1997, Applebee’s had almost 1000 restaurants.
In November 2007, Applebee’s was acquired by The International House of Pancakes.
Today Applebee’s International is the world’s largest table service restaurant chain, with more than 2,019 casual-dining Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill restaurants in 17 countries.
Applebee's International, Inc.