As Applebee’s International moves through the process of merging with IHOP Corp., a high-ranking Applebee’s official recently sent a memo directing associates to “be positive” in the face of a transition that will force leadership changes and alter operational dynamics in corporate offices and restaurants alike. The message from Philip R. Crimmins, senior vice president of development for Applebee’s, which agreed in July to be acquired by Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP Corp. ...

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