Friday, June 13, 2008

Applebee's to try a chill pill?

Consumers may soon be spying a stockpile of thermometers behind the bar of their nearest Applebee’s. The new parent of the troubled casual-dining brand is looking to put more fizz into alcoholic beverage sales, and one of the means it’s considering is the schtick used by a franchisee in Ohio. The operator touts his beer as the coldest beer in town, and proves it by putting a thermometer into each glass when he serves it.

Julia Stewart, chairman and chief executive of DineEquity Inc., the clunky new moniker of IHOP Corp., told investors last week that Applebee’s new executive team will likely check out the gimmick for possibly wider adoption. “Don’t laugh—there’s probably a notion there that I want to exemplify [sic] and test,” she said at the Goldman Sachs Investor Conference.

During the Q&A session following her presentation, Stewart noted that Applebee’s is already one of the nation’s highest-volume beer sellers, but observed that wine could represent an opportunity.

She also repeated an earlier avowal to avoid the prior administration’s mistake of trying to make Applebee’s menu more sophisticated than patrons would like. She indicated that the brand should stay within its niche with she characterized as finger-food-type items. But she also noted that the bill of fare needed an update. Deep-fried mozzarella sticks were cited in particular as a tired nod to yesteryear.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous steakman said...

"She also repeated an earlier avowal to avoid the prior administration’s mistake of trying to make Applebee’s menu more sophisticated than patrons would like. She indicated that the brand should stay within its niche with she characterized as finger-food-type items"
The inevitable IHOPization of Applebees. Gotta laugh at the "sophistication" comment. Try "inedible". My crystal ball says Grand slam entrees are on the horizon at Applebees.

Sincerely, Steakman

June 13, 2008 at 11:08 AM  

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