Applebee’s Introduces New Under 550 Calories Dishes

Nine in ten Americans who have ever made food-related New Year’s resolutions have broken them according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar.

Among the reasons cited were too many restrictions and not enough flavors, with the most popular response being “I like to eat what I want, when I want.”

With Applebee’s new Unbelievably Great Tasting and Under 550 Calories dishes, including garlic marinated steak, sizzling Asian shrimp and Chili Lime chicken, Americans can now enjoy low-calorie, full-size dishes that don’t sacrifice flavors.

Applebee’s surveyed U.S. adults via Harris Interactive Dec. 19 – 21, 2011 on their attitudes toward New Year’s food-related resolutions. Findings among U.S. adults surveyed by the largest casual dining chain include:

  • 83 percent indicate they would like to eat better in the New Year without feeling like they’re sacrificing something.
  • 81 percent who plan to make any food-related New Year’s resolutions in 2012 indicate that having a variety of lower-calorie meals to choose from when dining out would make it easier for them to keep their food-related resolutions. This represents a 6 percent increase over 2011.
  • 80 percent say they would choose a lower-calorie item over a higher-calorie item if taste and portion size were comparable. This represents a 4 percent increase over 2011.

“This is clearly not diet food,” said Chef Shannon Johnson, executive director at Applebee’s. “Even when they are watching their calories, our guests want great flavors, choices including proteins and carbs and full-size portions. With our Under 550 menu, the only thing missing is the calories.”

Applebee’s has enhanced more than 80 percent of its menu in the past two years and was recently named tops for overall value in an annual consumer restaurant chain survey conducted by Market Force Information.

Applebee’s continues its leadership role for providing guests with better eating choices and value with fresh new flavors, including two Sizzling Entrees, for a great price. The new selections include:

  • Roasted Garlic Sirloin – Garlic-marinated 7 oz. sirloin and sautéed onions, served with herbed potatoes and a grilled Portobello mushroom cap filled with creamed spinach.
  • Sizzling Chili Lime Chicken – Spicy chili sauce meets tender grilled chicken and colorful Asian-style vegetables in a skillet full of flavor, served over rice with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Sizzling Asian Shrimp & Broccoli – Tender blackened shrimp and colorful mixed veggies drizzled in a sauce that is the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy, served over rice and topped with fresh cilantro.

They join the wildly popular Signature Sirloin & Garlic Herb Shrimp and Grilled Dijon Chicken & Portobellos, giving Applebee’s guests five great tasting, lower calorie selections. The Signature Sirloin with Garlic Herb Shrimp was Applebee’s top seller among all entrees during the first two months of 2011, which marked the first time in Applebee’s history that a lower calorie entree was the best-selling independent menu item.