News Release

Applebee’s Welcomes Back Chef Shannon Johnson as Vice President of Culinary

September 13, 2023

Chef Johnson previously served in various roles on the Applebee’s culinary team from 2003-2012

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 13, 2023-- Applebee’s announced today that Chef Shannon Johnson has joined the leadership team as Vice President of Culinary. A classically trained chef, Johnson has served as Applebee’s Interim Head of Culinary since June. In his previous tenure with the brand, Johnson served as an executive chef on Applebee’s culinary team in various roles from 2003-2012, including menu development, innovation, and strategy.

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Chef Shannon Johnson joins the Applebee's leadership as vice president of culinary to drive culinary innovation. (Photo: Business Wire)

Chef Shannon Johnson joins the Applebee's leadership as vice president of culinary to drive culinary innovation. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are thrilled to officially welcome back Chef Shannon to Applebee’s! His institutional knowledge of the brand and its trajectory over the years, paired with a deep understanding of casual dining culinary innovation, makes him the perfect person to lead our culinary strategy,” said Applebee’s Chief Marketing Officer Joel Yashinsky. “We can’t wait to share with our guests the delicious new menu items his culinary team has been creating!”

“I began my culinary innovation career at Applebee’s exactly 20 years ago, which is why Applebee’s has always had a special place in my heart,” said Vice President of Culinary Shannon Johnson. “I had the honor of learning from Applebee’s late founder, Bill Palmer, and I’m excited to return and continue Bill’s vision for the future of Applebee’s with new and exciting flavors balanced with due respect for the nostalgic flavors and meals our guests love.”

Chef Johnson will work in tandem with marketing and operations brand leaders and franchise partners to drive alignment on culinary innovation.

A seasoned industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Chef Johnson has fine-tuned his craft for culinary innovation through his work with other brands including McDonald’s, YUM! Brands, and Disney’s California Adventure, among others. A certified executive chef from the American Culinary Federation, he is a graduate of Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.

About Applebee's®

As one of the world’s largest casual dining brands, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar serves as America’s kitchen table, offering guests a lively dining experience that combines simple, craveable American fare with classic drinks and local drafts. Applebee’s makes it easy for family and friends to connect with one another, whether it’s in a dining room or in the comfort of a living room, Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood™ is a familiar and affordable escape from the everyday. Applebee's restaurants are owned and operated by entrepreneurs dedicated to more than serving great food, but also building up the communities that we call home. From raising money for local charities to hosting community fundraisers, Applebee’s is always Doin’ Good in the Neighborhood®. Applebee’s franchise operations consisted of 1,662 Applebee’s restaurants in the United States, two U.S. territories, and 11 countries outside the United States as of June 30, 2023. This number does not include two domestic Applebee’s ghost kitchens (small kitchens with no store-front presence, used to fill off-premise orders) and 12 Applebee’s international ghost kitchens. Applebee's is franchised by subsidiaries of Dine Brands Global Inc. (NYSE: DIN), which is one of the world's largest full-service restaurant companies.

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Source: Applebee’s