The last 23 company-owned Applebee’s restaurants in the Kansas City area now are owned by American Franchise Capital LLC.
The acquisitions completed an eight-year-old plan by DineEquity to turn all Applebee’s into franchised operations.
The new owner describes itself as a “private fund founded to make control investments in established Tier 1 national franchised restaurant brands.”
American Franchise Capital, though two corporate entities, owns restaurants in seven states, including Missouri and Kansas. Apple Central LLC oversees Applebee’s restaurants, and Cantina Hospitality LLC has Taco Bell units.
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Tom Linafelt, a spokesman for Applebee’s at its support center in Kansas City, said Applebee’s expects it to “be business as usual” for area diners.
“With this acquisition, AFC LCC will now operate a total of 56 restaurants in the Midwest region. No Applebee’s were closed as a result of the sale, and Applebee’s headquarters will remain in Kansas City,” according to a statement released by DineEquity.
A message posted on the American Franchise Capital website says, in part:
“We are honored to now own this market and look forward to taking advantage of the many opportunities that exist for Applebee’s in Kansas City! We are the “Home Town Brand” and we fully intend to let everyone in Kansas City know that we own this town...we are the largest casual dining concept in the region and will make sure everyone knows that Applebee’s dominates Kansas City.”
Franchisees now own more than 1,900 Applebee’s restaurants.