Applebee's Opens First Restaurant in Panama

DineEquity, Inc, one of the world's largest full service restaurant companies and the parent company of Applebee's and IHOP restaurants, has opened the first Applebee's Grill + Bar on December 8 in Panama City, Panama it was announced by Stephen Joyce, CEO and president, International, DineEquity Inc. The restaurant is the first of five locations planned for Panama within the next five years under an agreement with franchisee Collins Restaurant Group, Inc.

Located in Via Centenario, Altaplaza Mall, Local 2-417, Ciudad de Panamá, the restaurant is expected to bring 70 new jobs to the economy as well as additional tax revenue and ongoing local spending on supplies, ingredients and marketing and other services.

"We are delighted that we will now have both of our leading and iconic brands in Panama, particularly given the warm welcome and success we've seen with our IHOP brand in the past year," says Joyce. "This opening represents our continued strategy of bringing our brands to Latin America and we are pleased to expand our relationship with our franchisee Collins Restaurant Group, Inc., which was instrumental in bringing IHOP Fresh & Go to Panama. At Applebee's we say 'there is always a reason to celebrate' and I can't think of a better reason than this."

"We are thrilled to bring the quintessential Applebee's American style menu and bar to our guests in Panama," says William Urrego, regional vice president of the Americas. "We are pleased that our restaurants will not only be part of the neighborhood but part of the local economy on an ongoing basis. For both our brands, we try to source locally if possible. We're confident that with the Collins Restaurant Group, Applebee's will bring its heritage of 'There's Always a Reason to Celebrate' to this location and others to come."

"We have been fans of Applebee's unmatched lunch and dinner entrees for years," says John Collins, president of Collins Restaurant Group, Inc. "We've always felt that the unique Applebee's experience and food would be a great match for Panama and we are delighted and excited to bring it here. We've had such a great experience with DineEquity through IHOP Fresh & Go that we knew we wanted to be the ones to bring their other great brand to Panama."

The Applebee's restaurant will be the latest "Celebration" model which is their international design. DineEquity through its subsidiaries franchises two top brands that are leaders in their categories—Applebee's Grill + Bar is a leader in the casual dining category and IHOP restaurants is a leader in the family dining category. The last two years have seen record growth internationally for DineEquity's brands both in terms of new restaurants in existing markets as well as the addition of new countries and territories including Thailand, India, and Lebanon.

The restaurant will seat approximately 199 guests and will be open Sunday thru Thursday from 11: am to 11 pm and on Friday and Saturday 11 am to 1 am.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.