Are you a fan of Applebee’s? If so, you may be surprised to learn that there are some secrets that the restaurant chain doesn’t want you to know. From hidden menu items to calorie counts, this article will reveal seven secrets that Applebee’s doesn’t want you to know. Read on to find out what you should be aware of before you next visit Applebee’s.
7 Secrets Applebee’s Doesn’t Want You to Know
Applebee’s is one of the most popular casual dining restaurants in the United States. But there are some secrets that the restaurant chain doesn’t want you to know. Here are seven of them.
1. The Menu Is Not as Healthy as It Seems
Applebee’s may have a menu full of healthy options, but many of them are not as healthy as they seem. For example, the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad has more calories than a Big Mac. The Oriental Chicken Salad has more fat than a Whopper. And the Oriental Chicken Rollup has more sodium than a large order of fries.
2. The Food Is Not Always Fresh
Applebee’s may claim that all of its food is fresh, but that’s not always the case. The restaurant chain has been known to use frozen ingredients in some of its dishes. So if you’re looking for a truly fresh meal, it’s best to ask your server what ingredients are used in the dish you’re ordering.
3. The Portions Are Not Generous
Applebee’s may advertise generous portions, but that’s not always the case. Many of the dishes are smaller than you’d expect, and the prices are often higher than you’d expect. So if you’re looking for a truly filling meal, it’s best to order a few dishes or ask for a larger portion.
4. The Drinks Are Not Always Refreshing
Applebee’s may have a wide selection of drinks, but many of them are not as refreshing as they seem. The restaurant chain has been known to use artificial sweeteners and preservatives in some of its drinks, which can make them taste artificial and unappealing.
5. The Service Is Not Always Great
Applebee’s may have friendly servers, but the service is not always great. The restaurant chain has been known to have long wait times and slow service. So if you’re looking for a truly enjoyable dining experience, it’s best to go to a different restaurant.
6. The Prices Are Not Always Reasonable
Applebee’s may advertise reasonable prices, but that’s not always the case. The restaurant chain has been known to charge more than other restaurants for similar dishes. So if you’re looking for a truly affordable meal, it’s best to compare prices before ordering.
7. The Food Is Not Always Delicious
Applebee’s may have a wide selection of dishes, but many of them are not as delicious as they seem. The restaurant chain has been known to use low-quality ingredients in some of its dishes, which can make them taste bland and unappealing.
For 32 years, Applebee’s has been encouraging patrons everywhere to “eat good in the neighborhood.” With roots in Atlanta, Ga., the restaurant has come a long way since its original opening there in 1980. Back then, they were called T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs. It took six years before the name was revamped to the undeniably catchier Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, and from there, things just kept getting better.
Today, the massive chain serves American comfort food, both stateside and worldwide, in over 2,000 locations. They have absolutely cornered the meal deals market, and love putting out a good cocktail bargain as well.
Despite all of their public success, though, Applebee’s keeps a few key details private. What’s behind the mouth-watering appetizers and iconic red booths? Read on to find out. And for more, check out 8 Secrets Olive Garden Doesn’t Want You to Know.
We all know that fast-food and fast-casual salads aren’t exactly the epitome of a healthy meal, and often, you’re better off just getting a burger. But compared to some of the other entrée options Applebee’s has to offer, we had a hard time believing that a salad wouldn’t be at least a mildly better choice.
Turns out, it isn’t. When we looked at the nutrition info for entrée salads offered at the chain, we realized that five out of seven clocked in at more than 1,000 calories. That’s just as bad, if not worse than, a Big Mac with fries.
For example, the Oriental Chicken Salad packs a whopping 1,570 calories, and is by far the worst salad on the menu calorie-wise. But even its healthier-sounding version, which comes with grilled chicken instead of breaded, packs 1,450 calories (not much better) as well as 2,190 milligrams of sodium—that’s more than you should be eating in a day!
All in all, the salads at Applebee’s aren’t much healthier than other, more indulgent menu options.
When server and manager u/Applebuddy did an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit a few years back, they shed light on many of the behind-the-scenes secrets of the popular chain. While there’s a lot to unpack on this thread, the one revelation that caught our eye was the fact that, first, free fry refills used to exist, and second, that they stopped existing. While we don’t advertise eating fries ad nauseam, it sure highlights how much more a few bucks used to get you at a restaurant.
This is almost one of those open secrets, right? We all hope that the chain franchises we know and love aren’t just reheating pre-packaged, frozen food that they import in bulk, but when it comes down to it we know they probably are. Back in 2019, Redbook broke the news that Applebee’s was in fact microwaving at least some of their menu items. According to the site, though, it’s basically just the dips and desserts.
Perhaps the biggest secret Applebee’s doesn’t want you to know, as is the case with many restaurants, is the nitty-gritty aspects of their recipes. At one point, there was a blog dedicated to recreating your favorite Applebee’s entrées at home, but the site has since been taken down. Talk about dedicated secret-keeping.
While it’s hardly a secret that restaurant chains resorted to trimming their menus in order to streamline operations during the pandemic, Applebee’s was particularly heavy-handed when it came to menu cuts. The chain got rid of as much as 40% of its large menu, removing favorites like BBQ brisket tacos, sweet and savory grilled chicken, clam chowder, loaded potato soup, and the triple bacon burger.
Several months later, the company confirmed those menu items will not be making a return, and that the chain will continue on with a much smaller menu.
Yes, the Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Honey Pepper Chicken Tenders might be what dreams are made of. The sheer upgrade with sweet-and-spicy tenders is worth giving Applebee’s credit for. But when it comes to the nutrition info, the chain is hardly eager to broadcast the details. There are no fewer than 1,420 calories in this bad boy, which is absurd but also perhaps not totally unexpected. The real kicker here is the sugar content. At 51 grams per serving, this might as well be a dessert.
In 2017, the chain was sued by a transgender hostess who said she was the subject of “extreme harassment,” but was fired from her job when she sought a resolution from upper management. As Mashed reported, this was not the first time the Applebee’s was called out for being shady about harassment accusations. Years before, they were sued for demanding that anyone who worked for them sign away their right to take discrimination charges to court. Yikes!