What did you have for dinner last night? A tasty meat? A creamy pasta?
Not enough of you went out. Specifically, not enough of you went out to Applebee's. It's tough times for everyone's favorite neighborhood restaurant. Blaming a slew of things from rising gas prices and increased mortgage rates cutting into potential customers' disposable income, Applebee's sales have slumped. Shareholders became testy so management did what management types do. They panicked, shrugged their shoulders, and sold themselves to a pancake maker.
IHOP Corp., best known for its chain of blue-roofed pancake restaurants, said Monday it has agreed to buy the bar-and-grill chain Applebee's International Inc. for about $1.9 billion in cash.
$1.9 billion dollars in cash. Now that's a lot of rooty tooty fresh n fruities.
For those of you unfamiliar with the International House of Pancakes, let me say that it is a fine dining establishment. The cheese omelet with a side of hash browns is a reasonably priced, delicious way to kick off your day. A side of cinnamon swirl french toast can even be substituted with a small upcharge. My mouth is now watering.
Additionally, Wikipedia informs me that it was a favorite dining spot of the title character in Son of Sam, who enjoyed his pancakes on a regular basis. If it's good enough for a murderous movie, it should be good enough for you.
Not to be outdone, Applebee's was prominently featured in Talladega Nights: The Ballard of Ricky Bobby and NBC's much loved but little watched program Friday Night Lights. Media domination notwithstanding, IHOP now owns "Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood."
So where does this leave Overland Park, Kansas' favorite son, Applebee's? They'll continue to exist with slightly different management techniques, such as not serving alcohol to infants:
On June 10, 2007, a toddler was served a margarita in a sippy cup by the restaurant manager in Antioch, California (Part of the San Francisco Bay area). The toddler became sick and required medical attention. The incident was labeled an honest mistake because both apple juice and margarita mix were kept in identical containers. The franchise offered to pay for medical costs and to provide free meals. The container problem was also resolved as different containers are being used.
Photo from KMOV