Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar honored at its 2019 Applebee’s Fall Business Meeting in Beaver Creek, Colorado, on September 20.

“At Applebee’s, we have a unique and special relationship with our franchise partners. They are exceptional leaders, and it’s always an honor to recognize their remarkable contributions to this great brand,” says John Cywinski, president of Applebee’s.

This year’s recipients were awarded based on their commitment to brand success, guest service, operational excellence, and community involvement. The winners include:

Abe Gustin Franchisee of the Year: The Rose Group

This award, in honor of the man who helped Applebee’s become one of the nation’s most iconic brands in casual dining, recognizes a franchisee that embodies what it means to be Eatin’ Good and Doin’ Good in the Neighborhood. This year’s Franchisee of the Year is The Rose Group for their steadfast commitment to making the brand better, unyielding integrity, commitment to people, culture and guest satisfaction, and their partnership in building a great brand.

Lloyd Hill Neighbor of the Year: Doherty Enterprises

This award, named after of one of the brand’s historic leaders, celebrates an Applebee’s franchisee that has displayed a tremendous amount of love, compassion, and care for their neighbors through a variety of causes, activities and initiatives. This year’s recipient is Doherty Enterprises for embodying what it means to be a good neighbor by lending a helping hand in their local communities. From participation in more than 500 community events to donating more than $2 million to their surrounding communities through initiatives like classroom supply donations, Toys for Tots and their own employee support program, “WOW a Friend,” Doherty Enterprises’ commitment to the communities they serve continues to thrive since first joining the Applebee’s family in 1992.

Bill Palmer Heart of Applebee’s: Apple American Group

This award is named after the founder of the Applebee’s brand, and recognizes a franchisee that has exhibited remarkable devotion and impact on an individual cause or organization. The 2019 recipient is Apple American Group, for their incredible work and leadership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Since Applebee’s partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation started 15 years ago, Apple American Group has been the leading supporter in helping Applebee’s raise more than $11.5 million across the system to help fund pediatric cancer research.

Restaurant General Manager of the Year: Michelle Bloom of RMH Franchise

This prestigious recognition is given to a general manager who consistently delivers superior results in team performance and operational excellence and who leads by example. This year’s inaugural recipient is Michelle Bloom of RMH Franchise, Inc., for her superior dedication to Applebee’s and for exemplifying the brand’s core values. Michelle started with the brand as a line cook and worked her way up to become a kitchen manager and eventually general manager, a position that she has held for the past 15 years. Her team is in awe of her positive energy and credits her successful leadership to her passionate heart for serving others.

Hometown Hero of the Year: Robbin Mosier of Apple American Group

The Hometown Hero program was created this year to recognize restaurant team members who do more than provide great service to their guests each and every day, they go above and beyond, they respond when they are called to do something selfless and believe in the power of being a good neighbor. This year’s Hometown Hero of the Year is Robbin Mosier of Apple American Group. Through a simple and heartfelt connection with her guest, Robbin made a lifelong impact on her guest that truly saved her life.

Operator of the Year: Bonnie Lippincott of The Rose Group

This recognition is awarded to a franchisee lead operator whose passion and drive for their work is unmatched in the service industry and who consistently rises above to demonstrate all the values of a leader. This year’s recipient is Bonnie Lippincott of The Rose Group who embodies the brand values every day, champions a culture of high standards and accountability, and presents a passion for her people and the brand that drives astonishing results.

Marketing Leader of the Year: Diann Banaszek of Apple American Group

This award honors an individual who demonstrates an unparalleled commitment to telling the Applebee’s story that drives guests into Applebee’s restaurants. This year’s Marketing Leader of the Year is Diann Banaszek of Apple American Group, whose deep knowledge about the business and the Industry and whose passion for the brand and guests is unprecedented. She is a tireless advocate for the system and a leader in driving good will programs that positively impact our neighborhoods.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Applebee's