US chain Applebee’s eyes Egypt for expansion

Company plans to open 10 restaurants in aggressive push into Middle East
US chain Applebee’s eyes Egypt for expansion
Applebee’s operates 147 restaurants in 15 countries outside the US, including outlets in Saudi and the UAE
By Joanne Bladd
Wed 27 Jul 2011 11:32 AM

US-based restaurant chain Applebee’s has announced plans to
grow its brand in the Middle East with the launch of 10 new restaurants in
Egypt over the next decade.

Parent company DineEquity said this week it signed a deal
with Ameco Foods to franchise the restaurant chain across the Arab world’s most
populous country.

“We we see international expansion as a critical part of
Applebee's continued growth and brand development,” said Julia Stewart,
DineEquity's Chairman and CEO.

Applebee’s operates 147 restaurants in 15 countries outside
the US, including outlets in Saudi and the UAE, and is a cornerstone of DineEquity’s
aggressive expansion across the Middle East.

The company in June signed a deal with Kuwait’s MH Alshaya
Co to launch pancake chain IHOP across six Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and
Egypt.

Under the terms of the deal, which marks IHOP’s first major
expansion outside the US, Alshaya will open 40 restaurants over the next five
years.

Menus in Applebee’s Egyptian restaurants will feature
established dishes such as its ‘Realburgers’, but up to 20 percent of dishes
will be customised to reflect the local market.

Franchise partner, Ameco, which is also in talks to launch
30 Dairy Queen outlets across Egypt, expects to source up to 75 percent of
produce from Egyptian suppliers by the second year of operations.

Applebee’s in the latest in a slew of US restaurant brands
expanding their footprint in the Middle East. Dairy Queen last month opened its
largest global outlet in Saudi Arabia, while New York-based burger chain Shake
Shack last week said it planned to open eight further branches by the end of
2012.

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