Applebee’s is one of those chain restaurants that you really don’t give much thought to. But in reality, Applebee’s got its start as a “mom and pop” restaurant, and there are most likely a lot of other things you didn’t know about this major national chain.
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Applebee’s (Slideshow)
The mom and pop who founded Applebee’s were Bill and T.J. Palmer, a married couple who opened the first location with a $50,000 loan under a slightly longer name (we’ll get to that in a bit) in Decatur, Georgia, on November 9, 1980. It was an immediate success, and a few years later they opened a second location on Buford Highway outside Atlanta before selling the company to chemical conglomerate W.R. Grace and Company in 1983. Bill stayed on as president of the company, guiding it to become a successful franchise system. If you’re interested in a full behind-the-scenes look at its early years, we suggest you check out this site, a thorough and fascinating play-by-play written by T.J.
The main concept of the restaurant was simple: Its founders intended it to be a place that diners could treat as their local neighborhood restaurant. In 1986, the name of the chain was officially changed from T.J. Applebee’s to Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar. A pair of Kansas City franchisees purchased the company from W.R. Grace and Company in 1988, and from 1993 to 2005 it saw unprecedented growth, opening 100 or more new locations yearly. In 2007, the chain was purchased by IHOP for $2.1 billion, and together the two formed DineEquity, Applebee’s current parent company; nearly every single location of both IHOP and Applebee’s are franchisee-owned.
Today, there are more than 1,500 Applebee’s locations worldwide, in countries including Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Greece, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, China, and Egypt. The company is constantly reinventing itself; five years ago they unveiled a “revitalization” concept, with updated interiors and exteriors featuring warmer colors, neighborhood-specific features, and new menu items. Applebee’s may never return to its roots as a neighborhood mom-and-pop, but they’ve certainly done a good job of making each location look like one. Read on for 10 things you didn’t know about the chain.
It Was Inspired by a Visit to an Atlanta Hotspot Named Billy’s
In the late 1970s, one of the hottest restaurant chains in Atlanta was called Billy’s. Bill and T.J. Palmer, who were interested in owning a restaurant that served food and spirits, visited a location and saw how hopping it was. Wanting in, they took out a $20,000 loan and bought into the worst-performing Billy’s, quickly turning its sales around. Billy’s management took the restaurant back and refunded the couple’s money with a bad check. Devastated, the Palmers decided to venture out on their own, and today Billy’s has been forgotten while Applebee’s is a household name.
Several Other Names Were Considered Before Applebee’s
Bill Palmer wanted the new restaurant’s name to be Appleby’s, but it was already registered in the state of Georgia. T.J. Palmer looked into Cinnamon’s and Peppers, but those were registered, too. So they changed the spelling of Appleby’s to Applebee’s and tacked T.J. to the front of it, which provided enough of a differentiation to be licensed.
JACKFRUIT: 10 THINGS YOU DIDN&rsquoT KNOW
1. A single jackfruit can weigh up to 40kg. That's the same as a small child.
2. Jackfruit is a pseudo-meat similar to plantain in flavour &ndash sweet but sour. When served with BBQ sauce, it tastes uncannily like pulled pork. It's also fooled thousands of meat-eaters and vegans thanks to a chicken-like consistency.
3. Jackfruit is currently served in everything from tacos, to burgers, to chillis, to sandwiches, to milkshakes. At Som Saa restaurants in Spitalfields, it's served as dessert paired with banana fritters and coconut cream.
4. The exotic plant is grown in the more tropical climates of South East Asia, Brazil and Africa.
5. Once harvested, jackfruit normally divides up into ten to twelve segments. Most jackfruits, similar to avocados and mangos, are sold unripe and left for you to ripen at home.
6. You can tell if a jackfruit is ripe as dark patches and yellow colour will begin to permeate the spiky green skin. You can also smell it&mdashlike the sweetness of a mango, the ripe smell of a jackfruit is distinct enough for you not to be able to miss. (In other words, don't keep it in a fruit bowl in the living room).
7. Attempting to prepare a fresh jackfruit yourself? Pop on some gloves. A fairly powerful latex lives just under the spiky green skin o the jackfruit and if it gets on to the skin, proves difficult to get off with just soap and water, like super glue. Use cooking oil as a way to remove in emergencies but cover up when cutting to avoid this.
8. Alternatively, if you like a nice hack, buy your jackfruit in pre-prepped tins. It's available on Amazon, in Abel & Cole and in pretty much all small Asian supermarkets. Give it a few months and it'll be a bestseller on Ocado.
9. Unlike alternative animal sources of protein, like chicken or fat, jackfruit contains no cholesterol or saturated fat&mdashso is better for you heart. In the same vein, it's light in sodium and contains 3g of fibre per serving and 110mg of potassium. It's low in calories, at only 20 calories per 75g serving. Just be mindful of the sauce you use to marinade it. Drown it bottled BBQ and you'll downgrade your macros.
10. Tried zero waste and thinking about your foods carbon footprint? You&rsquoll love jackfruit. Not only is it a sustainable and ethical meat replacement, it could be the miracle crop to help world hunger. Nutritionist Ruth Green said: " There is also some interesting research to suggest jackfruit could become a 'miracle crop' replacing crops under threat due to climate change."
If you always wondered where the name of these tiny chocolate treats came from, it has nothing to do with actual kissing. It actually got its name from the sound that the chocolate makes when coming out of a machine during the manufacturing process.
Ruth Wakefield, a.k.a. "the mother of chocolate chip cookies," sold her now-famous recipe to Nestle, but she didn't receive any money for it. Instead, all she wanted was a lifetime supply of chocolate, which is a deal I'm sure we'd all take.
8 Some Seared Steaks
Throw in some garlic, rosemary, and butter, and the Seared Steak will be sweet and caramelized on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside.
Seared Steaks offer an effect that boosts Attack, which improves with more ingredients.
- Seared Steak: 1 Meat - Restores 30 Hunger, Heal 5 HP, and grants an Attack Up effect.
- Superior Steak: 2 Meats - Restores 35 Hunger, Heals 5 HP, and grants an Attack Up effect.
- Spectacular Steak: 3 Meats - Restores 40 Hunger, Heals 5 HP, and grants an Attack Up effect.
1980–2006: Founding and going public Edit
The Applebee's chain was founded by Bill and T. J. Palmer in 1980. The vision that they wanted was "to create a restaurant that had a neighborhood pub feel to it and could offer friendly service along with quality fare at a lower price than most of their competition." The name they thought of to suit their concept was Appleby, but found that it had already been registered.  They also considered "Cinnamon's" and "Pepper's" before arriving at Applebee's.  They opened their first location in Decatur, Georgia, at the time named T.J. Applebee's Rx for Edibles & Elixirs. They opened a second location outside of Atlanta, Georgia a few years later, and sold the company to W. R. Grace and Company in 1983.  As part of the transaction, Bill Palmer was named president of the Applebee's Division, an indirect subsidiary of W. R. Grace and Company. In that capacity, Palmer guided the operation from its entrepreneurial beginnings to a full-fledged franchise system. He became an Applebee's franchisee in 1985. Bill Palmer died in 2020.
In 1986, the name of the concept was changed to Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar.  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.  In 1989, Applebee's opened their 100th restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. 
In the 1990s, Applebee's became one of the largest sit-down restaurant chains in the United States,  and began trading publicly in November 1991.  In 1998, Applebee's opened its 1000th restaurant.
2007–present: Acquisition by IHOP Edit
On July 16, 2007, IHOP Corp. announced that it agreed to buy Applebee's International for about $2.1 billion. Applebee's shareholders would receive $25.50 in cash per share, representing a 4.6% premium to the closing price on July 13, 2007. 
On November 29, 2007, IHOP (now DineEquity) announced that it had completed a $2 billion purchase of the Applebee's chain.   After the acquisition, IHOP Corp. changed its name to DineEquity, Inc.  With their merger in November 2007, Applebee's and IHOP combined to make the largest full-service restaurant company in the world, with more than 3,250 locations.  
On September 3, 2015, it was announced that their parent company, DineEquity, would be consolidating its headquarters for Applebee's and IHOP to DineEquity's Glendale, California, location. 
On August 11, 2017, DineEquity announced that Applebee's would close between 105 and 135 locations by the end of the year. Same-store sales decreased 7% in the previous quarter.   As of December 31, 2019, there were 1,787 restaurants operating system-wide in the United States and 15 other countries, including 69 that are company owned and 1,718 that are franchised. 
As part of the company's marketing campaign and slogan, Wanda Sykes was hired to voice the chain's new mascot, the Applebee's Apple.  The character appears in commercials touting Applebee's various specials and stating the new slogan "Together is good" or saying "Get it together, baby!" as the slogan appears at the bottom right of the screen. A new campaign started on February 25, 2008, without Sykes' character (the spokesapple), with the slogan "It's a whole new neighborhood." The commercials used both the original and new logos. [ citation needed ] In 2009 Applebee's changed its slogan again to "There's no place like the neighborhood."
From 2012 to 2016 Applebee's aired an advertising campaign focusing on fresh ingredients and new dishes, narrated by Jason Sudeikis, featuring the slogan "See you tomorrow." 
In late September 2017 Applebee's brought back its most famous slogan from the early-to-mid 2000s, "Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood." They also engaged in an alcohol–based advertising campaign to attract new customers by having a "drink of the month" at a reduced price.  The advertising fees of Applebee's globally from 2015 to 2019. In 2019, Applebee's advertising fees accounted for 165.5 million U.S. dollars.
In October 2017 Applebee's added the 'Dollarita' to their menu, which Steve Joyce, CEO of parent company Dine Brands, has claimed to be a major change for Applebee's. “Dollarita turned everything around," he said. "It was a 13-point swing between September and October in Applebee’s performance.” After introducing the dollar drink deal Applebee's has had four consecutive quarters of growth after struggling to grow sales. 
Side-work compensation Edit
Since 2006, Applebee's and its servers have been engaged in a lawsuit over hourly wages. The servers, who received a federal minimum wage of $2.13 per hour as tipped employees, allege that the company requires them to spend 20% of their time doing non-serving labor, for which they should be paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The case has gone through several stages, including a judicially mandated binding arbitration session.  
In September 2012, a judge in Illinois ruled in favor of the Applebee's employees and will evaluate damages at a later date. 
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Carrots
Whether you are talking about wild or domestic carrots, chances are this is one of your favorite vegetables. Belonging to the species daucus carota, you can find carrots all around the world, as they remain a star vegetable in many cuisines. But what do you really know about this biannual plant? We delved into its history and biology and found 10 interesting facts that will make you want to eat this vegetable even more.
1. Carrots were first grown in Afghanistan
While carrots are a common vegetable throughout the world, the first cultivated carrot in recorded history is thought to have come from the area around Afghanistan around 900 AD. Soon, this tasty veg spread to the surrounding areas and by the 1000s, it was in the Middle East and North Africa. From there it traveled to Spain, and by the 1300s it was popping up in Northern European gardens and in various dishes in China.
2. Crème de Lite, Long Orange and Scarlet Nantes are all types of carrots
Even though they are split into two categories, domestic and wild, there are more types of carrots than you have ever imagined. Long Oranges, tiny and stout Early Short Horns or their cousins the thin Half-Long Horns, the giant Jaune Obtuse du Doubs, fat Danvers, long and skinny Imperators, round Paris Markets and perfectly even Berlicums — just to name a few of the root shapes you can find. Then, you go into strains of carrots where you have the Crème de Lite, Sirkana, Top Cut, Red Core Chantenay, Scarlet Nantes and — in the spirit of Game of Thrones — Little Finger, a small orange specimen developed in France.
3. Baby carrots aren’t a type of carrot
With all that talk about carrot varietals, we had to address the phenomenon of baby carrots. Turns out they are either immature carrots, hence their small size, or pieces of larger, thin carrots that are cut into pieces. The latter idea came from Mike Yurosek, a California farmer who got tired of chucking blemished carrots away and started cutting and peeling the vegetables into tiny perfection. In 2010, carrot farmers got together and started promoting baby carrots as an alternative snack food — a successful campaign that has plenty of people snacking on carrots instead of chips.
4. You can leave them in the ground all winter
While so many wimpy vegetables need to be plucked and dug up, the mighty carrot can freeze itself happily in the ground. “After the carrots have had a light frost you cover them with about a foot of leaf mulch, which acts like insulation to prevent the ground and the carrots from freezing solid,” says farmer Toby Fischer of Ro-Jo Farms in Bethany, Connecticut. “You can either over-winter carrots and harvest them in the spring, or continuously harvest them throughout the winter months.” And when you do this, the carrot’s sugars get more concentrated and the result is a super tasty, sweet vegetable that anybody who loves dessert will be excited to eat.
5. Carrots are made up of 88 percent water
That’s right. While you try and alleviate hunger in a healthy way by chowing on carrots, most of what you are getting is water. Not that that’s a bad thing. In comparison, on average we humans are made of a measly 60 percent water.
6. Carrots come in many colors
Forget orange. You can get carrots in other natural hues of white, yellow and a deep shade of purple, if you look for them. Funnily enough, the first documented carrots were actually purple or white in color. The orange vegetables we know today were developed after a genetic mutation caused purple carrots, which have a yellow-orange core, to lose their color and turn a solid orange. Given that carrots have approximately 20 species worldwide, it’s not surprising they come in various shades.
7. Cooking carrots is better for you than eating raw carrots
As the most popular and widely grown member of the apiaceae family, you want to respect the vegetable. This is why you should get the most out of each bite by cooking them. This releases the hidden pockets of good-for-you beta-carotene. In fact, eating carrots raw only gives you three percent of this substance, but when you heat them up they release closer to 40 percent. So try these sweet vegetables puréed into soup, sliced thin onto a salad, braised in butter, baked, cooked until they are soft in a stew and stuffed into poultry. Or, you can get funky with the root like chef Amanda Cohen does in her Manhattan restaurant Dirt Candy, though, she says, working with them isn’t always easy. “Carrots are a blessing and a curse because they’re super-versatile, but their sweet taste can easily overwhelm a dish,” she says. “Because they’re sweet, but also a little bitter, kind of like the way lemon is sweet but also sour, at Dirt Candy we’ve found that they’re perfect for desserts, like our Carrot Meringue Pie.” She adds that their indestructible texture also makes them a lot of fun, and that even if you grill a carrot for a long time, it will never turn mushy or lose shape. “That means we can grill them for ages,” Cohen says. “Then, we shave them with a peeler, and get a deep, complex flavor, with a hint of sweetness and a chewy texture.”
8. Carrots contain the richest sources of beta-carotene
You may wonder why you care about beta-carotene. Well, here’s the deal: This chemical is what gives fruits and vegetables a yellow-orange pigment that turns into vitamin A in our systems. While it won’t make you see in the dark, beta-carotene does help with eyesight, as well as boost the immune system and promote healthy skin.
9. Carrots have seeds
Bet you never thought about that one as you chomp on a smooth stalk of this sweet-orange vegetable. But it’s true. How else did you think they grew? You harvest the seeds from the tiny white flowers that grow out of the ground. Funnily enough, the carrot doesn’t produce a traditional seed, but instead it’s classified as a schizocarp, a dry fruit composed of multiple carpels that separate to release the seed inside. Researchers have even found that wild carrot seeds dating back about 5,000 years were discovered in Europe. Also, due to their aromatic qualities, the seeds have been used as a spice and in herbal medicine.
10. Carrots have sugar in them
Ha, and here you thought you were eating something healthy. Okay, well yes, you are, but carrots do contain four types of sugars — sucrose, glucose, xylose and fructose. Luckily for you carb-a-phobes, despite the sugar they contain very little starch, so you can have your sweet vegetable without the carbs. Plus, even though they are on the saccharin side, you also get a whopping bunch of good-for-you nutrients including vitamins A, C, K and B6, manganese, calcium, lots of dietary fiber and potassium.
This post is brought to you by our friends at Whole Foods Market
5 Moscow Mule
Just like the Manhattan is from Manhattan, the Moscow mule must be from Moscow, right?
Although the exact origin of the drink is unknown, the owners of the Los Angeles pub Cock &lsquon&rsquo Bull brought the drink to popularity in the 1940s. However, in an article published in 2007 in The Wall Street Journal, Wes Price, the head bartender for the Cock &lsquon&rsquo Bull, claims that he invented the recipe. Whatever the case, the Moscow mule jump-started the popularity of vodka within the US.
10 things you didn’t know about Adam Liaw
There's more than meets the eye with celebrated chef, SBS Food star and overall legend Adam Liaw.
1. Adam was a gifted and talented student
He accelerated most of his studies, completing Year 11 at the age of 14 and enrolling in university at 16.
2. He graduated with a double degree in Science and Law
While many know of Liaw's history as a commercial lawyer, he also studied science. He often marries his scientific background with his culinary knowledge, noting how some recipes and dishes may need a formulaic approach.
3. Adam is also a professional photographer
Amidst regular kitchen chaos, Adam often styles and shoots his own dishes. His trained culinary eye goes far beyond how a dish tastes and smells, and travels further into how a plate can look.
4. Adam is trilingual
Atop knowing English and Mandarin, Adam learned Japanese through both food and theory as a young lawyer living in Tokyo - where he worked for Disney and met his wife, Asami. In Destination Flavour Japan, Adam mentions that it wasn’t until he learned how to read Japanese and could buy Japanese cookbooks that he understood what it was that made the cuisine tick.
Source: Destination Flavour Japan
5. For some time, Adam held the Australian record for.
The most viewed non-sport television event with his Masterchef season two finale win. TV Tonight's David Knox describes it as the top rated TV event of the decade.
6. Adam is a formally recognised social media megastar
With a combined social following of over one million (across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube), and roughly 24 million hits on YouTube, Adam is one of Australia's most followed food personalities. His witty and organic social presence is unmatched, with even Buzzfeed writing multiple listicles urging others to follow suit.
7. He is a bonafide expert on Asian cuisine
Adam competed in Australia's very first Celebrity Mastermind in 2019, passing the first round through to the finals, where he placed (**Spoiler Alert**) third overall with his knowledge of Asian cuisine.
8. Contrary to his complex education and professional background full of to-do-lists and documents, Adam prefers simple, step minimal recipes
He told Sydney Morning Herald that 'If I see something that is, ‘Here’s my 74-page recipe that uses 300 different ingredients and 12 different elements’ – whatever an element is – to me, that’s nice to watch, but it’s not something I’ll ever, ever, ever want to make unless you put a gun to my head'.
In 2018, he mentioned that he '[doesn't] like to over complicate it, just keep it simple and let the ingredients shine through' in an interview with 2AussieTravellers.
9. Adam makes his own soy sauce
When asked 'What his favourite ingredient was?' by Google's Caroline Rainsford, Adam responded with 'soy sauce'. While he clarified that he has no real favourites, he mentions how he often makes his own soy sauce with an organic soy brew and an array of flavourful additives - brown sugar, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu to name a few.
10. He is a father before anything else
On top of sharing parent hacks and fat pocky recipes, Adam told Now To Love last year that an unexpected up-side to COVID-19 for him was that he was able to witness first hand all of Benji's (his third child born in August 2019) magical first moments.
"It’s easy to forget that these children have been through unspeakable horrors". Adam Liaw, left, with Ahmed, right, at a Makani centre.
10 Things You Didn't Know About The Cheesecake Factory
This chain is famous for a lot more than just cheesecake.
The chain restaurant offers nearly 40 cheesecake varieties.
The Cheesecake Factory seems to hold a special place in the hearts of lots of people. It's not a fast food restaurant, it's not a chain bar and grill, it doesn't shill to kids. Instead, it exists to extoll the virtues of the glorious cheesecake in all its calorie-laden greatness. But we bet that there are a whole lot of things about this chain that you didn't know.
As opposed to some other chain restaurants (we're looking at you, Olive Garden), the Cheesecake Factory got its start as a mom and pop shop based around a flagship product: cheesecake. The chain traces its roots back to Evelyn Overton, a Detroit homemaker with a killer cheesecake recipe who in the 1940s supplied cakes to local restaurants but dreamed of opening her own cheesecake shop. She put those dreams on hold to raise a family, but in 1972, once her children were fully grown, she and her husband Oscar packed up and moved to Los Angeles to finally open that shop, which supplied more than 20 types of cheesecakes to LA restaurants.
In 1978, their son David had the idea to open a restaurant focused on showcasing his mother's cakes, and later that year the first Cheesecake Factory opened in Beverly Hills. The first menu was only one page long and featured primarily salads and sandwiches, along with 10 varieties of cheesecake. It was an instant hit, and a second location opened in Marina del Rey in 1983. A Redondo Beach location opened in 1987 the first location outside the Los Angeles area opened in Washington, D.C., in 1992 the company went public in 1993 and today there are nearly 200 Cheesecake Factories around the world.
Cheesecake Factory is still well-known for its cheesecakes, but the menu has expanded to incorporate dozens upon dozens of other dishes, infamous for their hearty portion sizes. Nearly 40 different varieties of cheesecakes are available, ranging from the traditional (fresh strawberry) to the outrageous (Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Galore, Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut). David Overton is still on board as chairman, president, and CEO, overseeing the ninth-largest restaurant company in the United States based on market capitalization. So whether you're a loyal cheesecake devotee or just an occasional visitor, read on for 10 Cheesecake Factory facts.
The Original Cheesecake Recipe Was Found in a Newspaper
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Helder Mira
Evelyn Overton didn't develop the original cheesecake recipe herself she actually found it in a newspaper.
It Started in a Detroit Basement Kitchen
Photo Credit: Flickr/ Varin Tsai
After Overton put her dreams of opening her shop on hold, she moved her baking equipment down to the basement of her Detroit house and ran her business from there.