Applebee’s Grill + Bar purchased 69 franchised restaurants in North and South Carolina from franchisee Apple Gold.
Terms were not disclosed.
The move marks a shift from the asset-light business model the company has employed for the last few years.
Applebee’s same-restaurant sales increased 7.7 percent in the third quarter of 2018. A majority of that was driven by traffic, resulting in a third quarter year-to-date comp sales increase of 5.5 percent, per a release.
“Through the third quarter of 2018, Applebee’s business performance has been the best it’s been in more than a decade as we continue to lead the casual dining category,” says John Cywinski, Applebee’s brand president.
Applebee’s also won a long-running dispute with franchisee RMH Franchise Holdings. The terms of the settlement require RMH to pay Applebee’s all past due royalty and advertising fees. Applebee’s will also receive reimbursement of termination fees related to restaurant closures.