HARRISON N.Y. —At a time when many operators are pinching pennies just to break even, 30-unit Applebee’s franchisee Apple-Metro is spending millions to upgrade kitchen ordering systems and dining room amenities while bucking the trend of slumping casual-dining sales. Apple-Metro’s investments are significant, said chairman Zane Tankel, but they’re paying off in spades for the company, which already ranked as operator of the ...

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