Applebee’s latest tool in its comeback arsenal has arrived. The casual-dining leader announced Monday (March 12) that its enhanced To-Go experience is now live, and the brand is offering a deal to kick off the platform’s added capabilities. For a limited time, guests can receive $10 off $30 on their next online or mobile app order.
The redesigned mobile app and online ordering platform is designed to speed up Carside To Go and To Go orders, the company said. Customers can also choose Carside To Go and have their meal delivered straight to their car.
“Applebee's To Go has undergone a makeover aimed at better serving guests, with updates to the mobile app and website, the introduction of new To Go packaging and an elevated focus on operational execution, all done to improve the guest experience," said Scott Gladstone, vice president, strategy and off-premise at Applebee's, in a statement. "These enhancements are paving the way for new innovations in the To Go space that will enable Applebee's to continue evolving its excellent service and be more competitive in off-premise eating occasions."
Applebee’s has made no secret on its plans to go after off-premise business. Sister brand IHOP expanded its to-go platform nationwide back in November. In Dine Brands’ second-quarter conference call, Darren Rebelez, the chain’s president, said that data showed 24 percent of Americans order to-go or delivery two times each week, resulting in 44 percent of all restaurant dining occasions being enjoyed off-premise. At IHOP, the average check size for online to-go orders in the fourth quarter was about 45 percent higher than the average check size of all other to-go orders, including call-ins.
“To expand our base business, we invested in technology and growth platforms such as our to-go offering to develop incremental revenue channels to IHOP and Applebee's,” CEO Stephen Joyce added in the call. “I'm very pleased to say that our plan has produced improvement in off-premises business at both brands in 2017 compared to the previous year.”
Applebee’s said at its Investor Presentation that 45 percent of guests are ages 34 and below currently (it’s 49 percent at IHOP). Traffic by age at Applebee’s breaks down like this: 15.3 percent Gen Z, 29.9 percent millennial, 28.3 percent Gen X, and 26.4 percent Baby Boomers.
Currently, to-go sales account for 9 percent of Applebee’s business. The company is estimating that will rise to 18 percent by 2022.