May 16, 2016

Applebee's Adds New Wood-Fired Grills and Hand-Cut Steaks

Applebee's changes up how they grill their meats with the introduction of new wood-fired grills. They're also upgrading their steak and pork chops by hand-cutting them in each restaurant.

The new American-made, wood-fired grills are now in nearly 2,000 US Applebee's restaurants and cook with oak wood. To visually convey the change, they're putting a stack of split oak logs by the entrance of each participating location.

The changes are part of a larger effort by the casual dining chain to reinvent itself for the future. They also plan to improve their bar offering, remodel existing restaurants, and introduce new restaurant designs.

The first menu items to feature wood-grilling include USDA Choice top sirloin steaks and bone-in pork chops that are hand-cut in each restaurant by trained meat cutters "to ensure optimal thickness" according to the chain. Also featured (but apparently not hand-cut) is cedar-grilled salmon.

Beyond the featured items, meats and vegetables cooked on the new grills can be found in other menu items.

Purchase and installation of the grills, along with a combined 60,000 hours of meat-cutting training, adds up to an investment of more than $40 million by Applebee’s franchisees.

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