Flynn Group has concluded the acquisition of 26 Applebee’s restaurants across Florida and Georgia, US, from Applebee’s franchisee Doherty Enterprises.

Doherty Enterprises has been an Applebee’s franchisee for more than three decades and continues to own and operate 80 Applebee’s restaurants in New York and New Jersey.

The deal with Flynn Group marks a significant change in its operations.

The transaction details have not been disclosed, but the move has increased Flynn Group’s portfolio to more than 450 Applebee’s restaurants in 23 US states.

As part of the acquisition, team members at the Florida and Georgia restaurants have been offered employment with Flynn Group.

Flynn Group founder and CEO Greg Flynn said: “Applebee’s has always been a special brand for us, as it has been for millions of guests throughout the country.

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“We feel the love and passion our guests have for Applebee’s every day, and we’re excited to continue building and growing with Applebee’s, as we have for the past two-and-a-half decades.

“There is untapped potential in markets across the US, and we look forward to continuing to do what we do best: serving great food and delivering great experiences to our neighbours.”

In another development, Applebee’s has entered an agreement with Flynn Group to open 25 new Applebee’s restaurants in the US over the next seven years.

This initiative is part of Applebee’s development strategy to achieve net new unit growth.

Known for being a neighbourhood dining staple, Applebee’s has grown significantly since its inception in Decatur, Georgia. The brand now boasts more than 1,600 locations in the US, two territories, and 11 other countries.

Applebee’s president Tony Moralejo said: “After 44 years as the neighbourhood dining destination in America, this agreement reinforces the confidence in the Applebee’s brand from our largest franchisee – and the largest franchise operator in the world – Flynn Group.

“Flynn Group’s journey with Applebee’s began 25 years ago, and their leadership team, culture, and focus on operational excellence is unparalleled. We’re excited to expand our partnership with them and to bring Applebee’s to more neighbourhoods across the US.”