Entries in Applebee's (2)


Applebee's Announces $200M Investment to Update Restaurants

Emile Wamsteker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- It’s out with the old and in with the new at your neighborhood bar and grill. Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar is set to start re-branding its image.

First you'll see new ads. There will also be a revised menu. The company said Monday it’s part of a nearly $200 million investment to update its restaurants, changes that will include new signage and storefronts, the implementation of flat-screen televisions, and other interior upgrades.

As part of those changes, Applebee’s says it's ditching its classic stained glass light fixtures and some of the chachkies that patrons have come to expect since the restaurant chain first came onto the scene in the 1980s.

Applebee's is the largest fast-casual restaurant chain in the world with more than 1,800 locations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Applebee's Worker Must Choose: Job or Posting to Facebook

Courtesy Jason Cook(FEDERAL WAY, Wash.) -- An Applebee's worker may be fired if he refuses to sign an agreement that bars employees from making negative comments about the workplace on Facebook.

"I was pretty much told it was going to come to a point where I was probably going to have to sign it or be let go," said 36-year-old Jason Cook of Federal Way, Wash.

Cook has worked for Applebee's for three years and has no complaints against his employer.  But he's concerned the policy would limit his self-expression.  He shared those concerns in status updates on the social networking website.

In an update on Aug. 31, Cook wrote, "I have come home and talked to my family.  I have wrestled with my conscious [sic], and weighed my options.  A line has been drawn in the sand.  I'm not sacrificing my principles."

Applebee's could not be immediately reached for comment.

"Ever since I voiced my concerns, several employees have said [they] don't feel comfortable signing it but I have kids, rent to pay, and bills to pay," he said.

Employer restrictions on social media websites are becoming more common.  The National Labor Relations Board issued its first Facebook ruling in November against an employer it said engaged in unfair labor practices for firing an employee who wrote derogatory posts about her supervisor on Facebook.

Since that complaint was filed in Connecticut, the NLRB has seen social media charges filed in all 32 of its regions.

Last month the labor mediation organization released a report detailing the outcome of 14 cases surrounding social media policies at companies.  One of the common themes: use of broad restrictions.

It is this type of restriction that concerned Cook.  In a comment on Facebook about the agreement, Cook had concerns about its language. "The words 'negative comments' should be changed to 'slanderous comments,'" he wrote to his family and friends on Facebook.

"I do understand their point of view that they don't want negative comments about the restaurant and company. I understand that part is legal," Cook told ABC News.  "My problem is I post a lot of political and religious discussions on my account and, first off, if I inadvertently post something that may be misconstrued as a negative comment towards an employee."

Cook said he hopes the company will reword the policy and that he can remain an employee.  He said his family is behind him "100 percent" if he decides to leave the company over this.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio