At Applebee’s, she has to tread as carefully. Tweaking the sweet, artificial hickory taste of the riblets is one thing, but losing the mozzarella stick? Dream on. ‘Don’t get me started on the mozzarella stick,’ [CEO Julia Stewart] said. ‘Can we get rid of them entirely? Probably not. All I know is we can do better in appetizers. Maybe it’s a panko breaded calamari. Maybe a baked wing.’ The trick is to give food that little twist. ‘Everybody has a quesadilla, but no one has a bruschetta quesadilla,’ she said. That idea is still under development, but Applebee’s does have a quesadilla burger.

August 20, 2008

At Applebee’s, she has to tread as carefully. Tweaking the sweet, artificial hickory taste of the riblets is one thing, but losing the mozzarella stick? Dream on. ‘Don’t get me started on the mozzarella stick,’ [CEO Julia Stewart] said. ‘Can we get rid of them entirely? Probably not. All I know is we can do better in appetizers. Maybe it’s a panko breaded calamari. Maybe a baked wing.’

The trick is to give food that little twist. ‘Everybody has a quesadilla, but no one has a bruschetta quesadilla,’ she said. That idea is still under development, but Applebee’s does have a quesadilla burger.

Applebee’s CEO Julia Stewart, on her chain’s quixotic quest for reinvention, in the New York Times. (via crumbler)

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