There really is nothing better than a happy hour at Applebee's and downing half a dozen "Dollar-Ritas" with your friends. But, that could be changing soon for some people.

Applebee's announced recently they have experienced much slower growth than anticipated, and will be forced to close more stores than originally though. So the question is, will Ohio be losing any Applebee's this year?

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Back in August, company leaders took a close look at their most underperforming restaurants around the country, and determined between 25 and 30 stores would be closing soon.

Is Ohio Losing any Stores?

At this time... it's unclear.

While the company did confirm it would be closing some stores, they haven't said WHICH stores yet. During a recent call with the company, president Tony Moralejo gave an update.

"Shortly after taking over, we decided to take a strategic look at our portfolio and identify additional restaurant locations that are no longer in strong markets, and that's due to multiple reasons. Some of those reasons are post-COVID consumer behavior changes."

So, while the chain had to close dozens of stores during COVID due to lack of customer consumption, NOW, consumers have completely changed their habits, and with that, some locations have suffered.

Applebee's has been struggling some as of late. They've already closed 10 stores this year, and the number since 2017 is now over 300.

"(It's) in an effort to weed out underperforming locations and return to growth mode. It had initially targeted 2023 as the year it would OPEN more restaurants than it closed... but rising development costs have now slowed new openings."

Currently, Ohio has 76 Applebee's, with Columbus leading the way with three different locations. So if the company is looking to trim the fat some, cities with multiple locations could be the first ones targeted.

But we won't know until the decision is fully made public in the near future.

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