Applebee's plans to add at least five new restaurants annually in Middle East; restaurant chain currently has 34 locations in region

, November 27, 2013 () – Applebee's, the world's largest casual dining restaurant chain is confidently expanding is footprint across the Middle East with plans to add at least five new restaurants annually. The recently opened restaurants include Jazan in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sahara centre in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates as well as the first Applebee's in Egypt. Building on the brands key principle of ‘neighbourhood experience’, Applebee’s offers diners an authentic affordable American casual dining experience.

Gary Moore, Regional General Manager, Applebee's, Europe & MENA, said, "As the restaurant business continues to boom in the region, Applebee's sees more opportunities and growth here. We place a great amount of emphasis on the associations we develop in neighbourhoods. With that in mind, we plan to establish a strong presence within communities with the new openings, while our outlets in the malls will continue to showcase what our brand can do."

Presently, Applebee's operates 34 restaurants in the Middle East which includes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon and Egypt, and employs over 2000 people. The new outlets will also result in creating over 500 job opportunities for candidates exploring a career in the hospitality industry.

Mohammad Kamran N. Khan, Director of Marketing & Corporate Communications SEDCO Holding, said, "With the recent opening in Jazan, Applebee’s now has 15 outlets in Saudi Arabia making it the largest international casual dining chain in KSA. There is a lot of growth potential for casual dining in sub-urban cities of the country which are yet to be explored. This will not only provide employment opportunity for the local youth but also provide better dining experience to the cities which are still underserved in terms of quality restaurants. Applebee’s perfectly blends the international dining experience with local traditions."

In addition to the expansion, Applebee's recently embarked on a re-branding exercise across all outlets in the region. Imbibing the local flavour, Applebee’s interiors now represent a culturally rich canvas with the amalgamation of Middle East and American icons.

Applebee's considers itself a part of the community and the growing popularity of the neighbourhood brand has played a crucial role in the expansion. Globally, Applebee's is considered a place where people can go to relax, grab a meal and come back to. The neighbourhood restaurant is most famous for its Mushroom Steak Skillet, Appetizer Sampler and Three Cheese Chicken Penne Pasta amongst other favourites.

About Applebee's in the Middle East:

Applebee's presently operates 34 restaurants in the Middle East with locations in countries like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Having started operations in Kuwait in 1999, Applebee's is presently expanding in existing markets as well as exploring newer markets in the region.

About Applebee's:

Founded over three decades ago on the principles of exceptional value and family fun, Applebee's operates as the largest casual-dining chain in the world with approximately 2,000 locations in 50 states, 15 countries and one U.S. territory.

Based in Kansas City, Applebee's takes pride in providing a welcoming neighbourhood environment where everyone can enjoy the dining experience. Applebee's is a DineEquity Inc. brand, and is franchised and operated by Applebee's Services, Inc and its affiliates. The Applebee's system employs approximately 28,000 employees company-wide.

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