Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar plans to open 10 new casual-dining restaurants in Egypt over the next decade under a new franchise agreement with AMECO Foods, which also is developing the Dairy Queen brand in that country.
Applebee’s currently operates 147 restaurants in 15 countries outside the United States, with a large presence in Mexico, Canada and Saudi Arabia. Parent company DineEquity Inc. of Glendale, Calif., which also owns the IHOP brand, already has 26 restaurants operating in the Middle East, including units in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“DineEquity is evolving and expanding both our brands around the
world, and we see international expansion as a critical part of Applebee's continued growth and brand development,” Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
In June, DineEquity announced its first major expansion of IHOP outside North America with a franchise deal for 40 new units in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.
The Applebee’s Egypt deal taps the experience of AMECO, which is opening 30 Dairy Queen units there. DineEquity said AMECO “has worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Egypt to expedite the supply chain process. The firm anticipates importing from Applebee’s approved U.S. vendors the first year, and transitioning to about 75 percent approved Egyptian suppliers in the second year.”
Mike Archer, president of Lenexa, Kan.-based Applebee’s Service Inc., said, “AMECO’s commitment to bringing the Applebee's neighborhood experience to life in Egypt make them a strong franchise partner for us.”
DineEquity said the Egypt Applebee’s units will incorporate local images in the décor to reflect their local neighborhoods. The menus will also feature local flavors.
The brand’s “core international Applebee's menu includes such signature dishes as Riblets and Realburgers,” DineEquity said.
As much as 20 percent of Applebee’s overseas menus include regional dishes. “For example, in Saudi Arabia, Applebee's guests can order Ratatouille Whitefish,” the company said, and “in Mexico, a Buffalo Salad and Calamari Kaboom are available every day.”
Applebee’s has more than 2,000 locations in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory.