Will Applebee’s in AG survive??
The economy is definitely putting a dent in restaurant business from what I’ve seen. Restaurants that I’ve been to recently just aren’t as busy as they typically are. One that I’ve noticed is really down is Applebees in Arroyo Grande. I think they have a few challenges; the economy, Chili’s opening up near Walmart, and location. The last couple times I’ve gone to Applebees during dinner hours there were very few occupied tables. Chili’s has calmed down a bit from their opening but they still still have 80+% of tables full from what I’ve seen.
Applebee’s in AG really is a neighborhood place, like the slogan for Applebee’s says. With Applebee’s in SLO and Santa Maria, the draw has to come from locals. I don’t know how many tourists come and want to eat at an Applebee’s if they have one (or two) in their hometown. Not being close to highway 101 is also not the best place to be either. The closest Chili’s from AG is in Paso Robles to the North or Goleta to the South is probably means Chili’s draws customers from a larger geographic area.
I hope that Applebees is successful so other businesses will want to come to the area. I’ll keep on going because I really like their Oriental Chicken Salad (and they give a bigger portion than the SLO Applebee’s does)! Seeing how Hucklebee’s is packed on weekend mornings should be a clue that tourists want to eat somewhere they don’t have where they are from. Maybe we’ll get some really good local restaurants to open up that will offer a good product that will bring in the people!!