Applebee's, the world’s largest casual-dining chain, announced the revitalization of 12 restaurants located across Richmond, Virginia. Dubbed the “River City Recharge,” the market-wide transformation kicked off in March with construction on all locations to be completed in mid-June.
Each restaurant will undergo a three-day revitalization with locations closing on Sunday after business hours and re-opening its doors to the local community the following Thursday. On the menu: A remodeled interior and exterior with warmer colors and contemporary design, including design elements specific to the neighborhood each restaurant serves.
In addition, service enhancements and new food and drink selections, including the Bourbon Street menu, Under 550 Calories menu, and All-You-Can-Eat soup, salad, and bread lunch will be featured.
The restaurants will be among the first of more than 1,800 Applebee’s locations in the U.S. to receive the renovation, and this collection of units across the River City will also be one of the first market-wide remodels in the nation.
“From Glen Allen to Richmond to Chester, we will be introducing the Applebee’s of tomorrow to old friends and, hopefully, new ones,” says Dina Russo, director of operations for Applebee’s Services Inc. “As folks return to casual dining, we are making aggressive steps to reclaim their business by breathing new life into Applebee’s throughout Richmond. Our guests have remained committed to us over the years, and these revitalizations are an expression of our gratitude.”
The new design was developed using test units near the Applebee’s International headquarters located in Lenexa, Kansas, with a goal to complete the revitalization of all company-owned and franchise restaurants over the next several years.
The Richmond-area Applebee’s will accelerate this timeline to complete work on 12 of its units this spring and summer.
Scheduled to close a maximum of three days while local construction crews work 24-hour schedules, each restaurant will be among up to two Richmond-area locations undergoing the facelift at any given time, with an expected completion date by the end of June.
Some exterior work will precede the closures, but will be conducted overnight to avoid intruding on the guest experience. The most noticeable changes at the revamped Richmond restaurants will include the replacement of the exterior striped awnings with oversized, contemporary awnings that elongate the building and highlight the façade.
“It has taken months of planning but we are confident that our aggressive timeline will guarantee a seamless transition for the River City Applebee’s,” Russo says.
Guests will also appreciate the changes beyond the bricks and mortar. New kitchen procedures mean guests will receive fresh, hot meals faster than ever. Kitchen staff training will re-emphasize the finer culinary points in preparing the restaurant’s most popular entrees. Applebee’s will also re-certify team members to deliver superior service in a way that is unique to the restaurant.
The restaurants undergoing the revitalization include locations in Ashland (South Carter Street), Chester (Hundred Road West and Iron Bridge Plaza), Colonial Heights (South Park Circle), Glen Allen (9601 W. Broad St. and Brook Road), Mechanicsville (Bell Creek Road), Midlothian (Hull Street Road), and Richmond (Moorefield Park Drive, South Laburnum Avenue, 5400 W. Broad St. and 11780 W. Broad St.).
Richmond-area Applebee’s are also renewing their late-night lineup to include karaoke and poker with great food and drink specials until midnight or later.