Carroll focusing on culture, franchisee relationships and accountability as brand aims to regain market share in 2018
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar, in a move that positions the brand for a return to profitable growth and long-term success, has promoted Kevin Carroll, a restaurant operator with nearly three decades of experience, to senior vice president, chief operations officer, reporting directly to John Cywinski, president, Applebee’s. Carroll joined Applebee’s in June 2017 as vice president of operations, and brings a deep understanding of the complexities of restaurant operations to the Applebee’s brand and will focus on building a vibrant operating culture of accountability.
Applebee’s also announced a new franchise development agreement, and the addition of two new franchisees, strengthening the brand’s presence in the states of Utah and Alaska. Both franchisee teams, Apple Mountain and Apple North, are spearheaded by industry veterans with skilled and successful operational backgrounds in the restaurant industry, and both groups are dedicated to working with their fellow franchisees and Applebee’s to contribute to the future success of the brand.
These new additions are rooted in a comprehensive and franchisee-supported turnaround strategy to reignite interest in Applebee’s as a favored neighborhood destination.
“Kevin is an exceptional leader and operator who understands what it takes to achieve operational excellence,” said Cywinski. “He shares our passion for our guests and our strong belief in culture, franchisee collaboration, and accountability. I know him well and am pleased to be promoting him to this role.”
Prior to joining Applebee’s, Carroll spent a successful 27-year career with the Chili’s brand, where he rose through the ranks and spent 14 years as a senior vice president leading more than 400 company-owned restaurants until joining Applebee’s this year. He holds an associate degree in hotel and restaurant management from Paul Smith’s College and a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of South Carolina. Carroll started his restaurant career as an Applebee’s general manager in Nashville, and the brand is excited to see his story come full circle as he takes on this larger role with the casual dining restaurant leader.
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar offers a lively casual dining experience combining simple, craveable American fare, classic drinks and local drafts. All Applebee’s restaurants are owned and operated by entrepreneurs dedicated to serving their communities and offering quality food and drinks with genuine, neighborly service. Applebee’s is one of the world’s largest casual dining brands; as of June 30, 2017, there are nearly 2,000 Applebee’s franchise restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and 14 other countries. Applebee’s is franchised by subsidiaries of DineEquity, Inc. [NYSE: DIN], which is one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant companies.