Apple Gold, Inc. was founded in 1984 to develop and operate Applebee's restaurants in North Carolina and was one of the first five Applebee's franchisees. Our first Neighborhood Grill and Bar opened in Cary, North Carolina in 1985 and by 1994, Apple Gold had grown to 17 restaurants across North Carolina.
In 1994, Apple Gold, Inc. acquired an existing franchise group named OK Apple, Inc., and with it, the developmental rights to most of Oklahoma. The acquisition brought the number of Apple Gold Group restaurants to an even 20. In 1995, six restaurants were opened, representing a growth rate of 30% in just one year.
OK Apple expanded through acquisition in 1996, buying three restaurants and territorial rights in Arkansas. Coupled with the building of additional restaurants in North Carolina during 1996, these acquisitions brought the number of restaurants in the Apple Gold Group to 43, a 61% increase. Between 1996 and 2006 the Apple Gold Group continued to expand by building in new neighborhoods. By the end of 2006, additional restaurant openings increased the number of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bars to 69, located in North Carolina, Oklahoma and Arkansas.