Off-premise sales was a bright spot for Applebee’s, up 27% on top of last year’s 31% growth.
Dine Brands Global Inc., the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar and IHOP restaurants, announced financial results for Q2 on July 31. Those numbers were driven in large part by delivery, John Cywinski, President, Applebee’s Business Unit, said in an earnings call with analysts. About 65% of Applebee's off-premise orders are placed digitally or online. About 75% of its off-premise mix is To Go and 25% delivery, which includes last-mile delivery through Applebee's and third-party delivery. "This will continue to evolve as delivery activation reaches 1,500 restaurants by year-end," he said.
Citing Edison Trends research, Cywinski pointed out that “Applebee's has seen the greatest increase in food delivery growth of all the brands they tracked over this past year.”
“Looking forward, I expect off-premise growth rates to moderate a bit as we lap 30% to 40% growth from year ago.”
Part of this is equation is being transparent about delivery fees. “…We believe the majority of these costs need to be passed along to the guest, who we also believe are willing to pay for the convenience of delivery. After all, they can certainly choose Applebee's To Go or dine in at no incremental cost,” said Cywinski.
“Our objective is to secure sustainable win-win for all involved, and we're confident we'll achieve this outcome shortly.”
Applebee’s has undergone some menu updates, including a relaunch of fajitas. Next month all Applebee's will begin to offer catering.