Applebee's Bets Big on Relaunching the Brand Around Wood-Fired Steaks

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As competitors rely on promotional-driven strategies in a fickle economy, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar is making a $75 million bet that a menu relaunch will boost weak sales.

Today, the country's largest casual dining chain lights up 2,000 new wood-fired grills for a revamped menu with steaks that Applebee's hand-cuts on the premises. Amid the barrage of price-driven industry promotions, Applebee's thinks its upgrade to USDA Choice beef, along with the stacks of logs outside restaurants and the aroma of wood smoke inside, will pique consumer interest.

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