Doherty Enterprises buys 21 Applebee's restaurants in NYC

The franchisee now operates more than 100 locations of the casual dining restaurant chain in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia.
Applebee's NYC restaurants are getting a new owner in Doherty Enterprises. | Photo courtesy of Doherty Enterprises.

Doherty Enterprises is going big on the Big Apple.

The large Applebee’s franchisee on Thursday said it has acquired 21 restaurants in the New York City metro area from Apple Metro.

The company, based in Allendale, N.J., now operates 104 Applebee’s locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Georgia.

Ed Doherty, CEO of Doherty Enterprises, called the deal “a pivotal moment in our company’s journey” and said it “aligns with our strategic vision for growth and innovation in the restaurant franchise space.”

Doherty Enterprises is one of the 25 largest franchisees in the U.S., according to the Restaurant Finance Monitor. It operates 160 franchise restaurants, including Panera Bread and Chevy’s Fresh Mex in addition to Applebee’s. The company also owns a pair of its own concepts in Shannon Rose Irish Pub and Spuntino Wine Bar.

Apple Metro employees in the acquired restaurants will be offered jobs with Doherty, the company said.

Franchisee acquisitions appear to be picking up in recent months as some operators decide to exit investments and potential buyers grow more comfortable making deals following the inflationary environment of 2022 and 2023.

That increase is expected to continue this year as interest rates appear to be holding steady while profitability improves as costs moderate.  

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