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A Brief History of Applebee’s

The Applebee’s chain was started by Bill and T. J. Palmer who opened their first restaurant, T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs, in Decatur, Georgia, on January 1, 1980. After opening their second restaurant the pair sold their company to W. R. Grace and Company in 1983. In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar to reflect the Palmers’ original concept of a place people could call their own. In 1988, Applebee’s International, Inc., became the restaurant chain’s franchiser when Kansas City franchisees Abe Gustin and John Hamra purchased the rights to the Applebee’s concept from W. R. Grace and Company.
Applebee’s started with the same philosophy we follow today: focused on serving good food to good people. Today, what was once a popular neighborhood restaurant has grown to become a popular restaurant in neighborhoods all across North America 2000+ strong!

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