The Daily Rail: Applebee's Going Back to Its Roots

PROMOTIONS: It’s Time for Sports Bars to Score with Fantasy Baseball

We’ve said it before – fantasy sports are a great marketing opportunity for sports-themed bars and restaurants. And with baseball around the corner, it’s time for operators to think about marketing to fantasy baseball fans. Here's how you can score with fantasy baseball promotions, leagues & year-long events.


Chicken Chillin’

A Shanghai restaurant is having a little too much fun with their plating. The fusion-style restaurant, called 1767 Cocoon, serves deep-fried chicken on a deck chair and with a drink umbrella, of course. This restaurant is all about surprises.

Chipotle Tests Quinoa

The burrito chain is looking to score on the quinoa trend. They’ve added the alternate grain to its test kitchen in NYC, which is praised for being a “complete protein” grain, meaning it has all the essential amino acids humans need. It’s super beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who may struggle to get essential amino acids in their diet. The testing comes on the heel of the arrival of new CEO Brian Niccol.

Gun Rights

Some observers argue that the discrepancy between what the larger public wants and what gun control measures are passed in to law by Congress is due, at least in part, to effective gun rights lobbying. One aspect is money individual politicians get from gun groups , for example in from of campaign contributions. Drawing on Federal Elections Commission (FEC) data, The Center for Responsive Politics has published an extensive list of members of congress and the amount of money they received in contributions form gun lobby groups.

Infographic: Gun Rights Money for Members of Congress | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista


Why it matters to you: Several months after the botched release, McDonald’s is doing good on its word to release the much sought-after Szechuan sauce.

So, yesterday McDonald’s is announced when/where/how much of the famed Szechuan sauce they are releasing to make up for their mishandled release a few months ago that caused riot-like situations. TV show Rick and Morty was the whole reason this sauce even made it into the public again, and very much the reason it made news. Their super-fans are notorious for going a bit overboard.

While there has been much speculation on whether or not the failed initial release was a marketing ploy or not, it certainly was successful in ways that it drummed up lots of conversation about McDonald’s. The mega-chain has since launched a website with podcasts about their famed sauce called The site was set up to handle the announcement and apologize to fans, so it seems they plan to make good on the mishap.

Regardless of the rumor mill, the process of over-marketing a product to then release a very limited amount and drum up a craze is nothing new. This is the exact model many clothing brands use week after week with great success, so why wouldn’t it work with food? McD’s has proven that it’s possible. We’re curious to see if smaller, more buzzworthy independent restaurants will take notice and try out this method in the future. Some of them certainly have the diehard support.



Why it matters to you: The new leadership at Applebee’s is trying to resurrect the brand by going back to its roots.

Remember “Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood”? Applebee’s new leadership does and they think it’s time to pull a 180 on their identity. They want to get back to their roots and embrace the essence of their brand -- a no-fuss menu for affordable prices.

They have already started to roll out classic menu items, but will now go full steam ahead on their new (old) plan. The restaurant chain hopes to promote the brand as “value for the money” which, assuming they step up food preparation and sourcing a bit, will help them immensely. Pair that with the fast-casual format restaurants they are testing, and they could see a bit of a turnaround.

To us, the biggest issue they face is drumming up some support from the Millennial crowd and Gen Z/iGen. When was the last time you heard of someone 30 or younger choosing an Applebee’s over literally anywhere else? We think its partially due to most people in that age group only being taken to these restaurants as children against their will. Naturally, when people reach the age where we can choose on our own places to dine it isn’t typically where they were taken as children. So, Applebee’s must overcome that along with a handful of hurdles to get that missing demographics’ business. Certainly not impossible. We like value and comfort as much as the next human, but shaking a bias can be truly difficult to do. Good luck to Applebee’s!