Apple American Group LLC (AAG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Flynn Restaurant Group LP (FRG), the world’s largest franchise operator and one of the 20 largest food service companies of any kind in the United States, announced that it has been named the 2021 Abe Gustin Franchisee of the Year by Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar. Specifically, AAG is being recognized for its overall commitment to brand success, operational excellence, guest service and community involvement. The award was presented during the 2021 Applebee’s Business Meeting, which was held in Scottsdale on November 16.

This marks the fourth time AAG has been honored as Applebee’s Franchisee of the Year; it has also been honored four times as Applebee’s Operator of the year. With 441 restaurants in 23 states, AAG is Applebee’s largest franchisee and comprises approximately 27% of the Applebee’s system.

This is also the second time in as many months that a Flynn Restaurant Group subsidiary has been recognized as Franchisee of the Year for 2021. Just last month, Flynn’s subsidiary RB American Group LLC (RBA), the largest Arby’s franchisee with 365 units, was named Franchisee of the Year for the Arby’s system at the brand’s national convention in Atlanta.

“On behalf of Apple American Group, we are honored to be named the Abe Gustin Franchisee of the Year for 2021,” said Greg Flynn, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Flynn Restaurant Group. “Our mission is to be the premier franchise operator in each of our six brands, and our tremendous AAG team, led by my colleague and long-time partner Dan Krebsbach, absolutely embodies the operational excellence we aspire to. Through all the adversity the pandemic served up, Dan and his team took tremendous care of our teammates and guests and drove astoundingly strong performance. I couldn’t be prouder to be associated with such a team of consummate professionals. It is also a great privilege to be part of the Applebee’s family, which is truly ‘best in breed’ within its category. We are delighted that we can do our part to help drive its success.”

“Greg Flynn and Apple American Group have always walked the talk on culture, restaurant excellence and results, which is why they were awarded Applebee’s 2021 Franchisee of the Year,” says John Cywinski, President, Applebee’s. “With 441 Applebee’s restaurants across 23 states, Greg and his Apple American Group team are role model operators and exceptional leaders. Nothing they accomplish surprises me. They are rock stars and deserve every bit of recognition that comes their way.”

Founded in 1999 with just eight Applebee’s restaurants in Washington State, FRG has grown over 22 years to 2,347 restaurants operating in six brands (Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Panera, Arby’s, Wendy’s and Pizza Hut) generating $3.7 billion in sales and employing 73,000 people in 44 states.

Franchising, Industry News