Applebee’s Grill & Bar will move its headquarters from Lenexa, Kan., to nearby Kansas City, Mo., by the end of September, the chain said Friday.
Applebee’s parent company, Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity Inc., said in April it was looking for a new headquarters site for the casual-dining chain in order to cut costs. At the time, DineEquity estimated that terminating the lease on its larger Lenexa offices would allow it to reduce debt by about $34 million.
A growing number of restaurant companies, lured by such incentives as more favorable tax rates and lease terms, are relocating their corporate headquarters or contemplating a move.
ACF Enterprises Inc., the parent company of the 1,977-unit Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brand, is moving into a new corporate office in its home base of Atlanta later this year, and Bob Evans Farms Inc. said it would leave Columbus, Ohio, for a new headquarters complex 23 miles away in the village of New Albany.
Pizza Hut, a division of Yum! Brands Inc., recently moved its chain headquarters from Dallas to suburban Plano, Texas.
Applebee’s said its current Lenexa headquarters covers 187,000 square feet and was designed for 500 employees. It plans to move 388 jobs into the new 100,000-square-foot headquarters and restaurant support center at 8140 Ward Parkway in Kansas City, Mo. That number includes 38 team members from Applebee’s Centralized Supply Chain Services LLC, an independent purchasing cooperative for Applebee's and sister concept IHOP.
"Our company has unique space and office needs including the ability to build a state-of-the-art culinary center, collaborative workspaces and large meeting rooms," Mike Archer, president of Applebee’s Services Inc., said in a statement.
While Applebee’s expects to see a debt reduction with the move, DineEquity said earlier that the company would book $26 million in pre-tax charges related to the move, including a $5 million non-cash impairment charge in the first quarter primarily related to leasehold improvements, and a cash lease termination fee and other closing costs of about $21 million in the second quarter.
At the end of its fourth quarter, DineEquity operated 309 Applebee’s restaurants and franchised 1,701 locations. The company also operates and franchises the 1,504-unit IHOP family-dining brand.