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Applebee’s to introduce new menu by staging Times Square street party

Applebee’s will become the latest restaurant chain to use a street festival as a marketing medium when it introduces a new sandwich menu in New York City’s Times Square on May 13.

“Change The Taste Fest” will feature food, live music, a photo booth and a pool hall game room. During the event, Applebee’s will command use of 12 Times Square video billboards with Twitter’s new Periscope video broadcasting service.

Applebee’s menu additions—a lineup of eight new or updated sandwiches and appetizers—will roll out later this month in the chain’s nearly 2,000 units across the country. “Change The Taste Fest” guests will have a chance to sample several of the new offerings, including the Triple Hog Dare Ya, a sandwich piled with pulled pork, bacon, Black Forest ham, onions and cheddar cheese on a Ciabatta bun.

Though exact details of the celebration have not been revealed, Applebee’s alluded to several “surprise, special-guest” performances.

"An over-the-top sampling party at the Crossroads of the World is the perfect way to introduce and celebrate our new menu," Darin Dugan, Applebee's senior vice president of culinary and marketing, said in a statement. "We're proud of our new food and we're inviting the world to give it a try."

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