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Applebee's closing up to 135 restaurants

by: Mike Timmermann Updated:

Your local Applebee’s may be closing soon, as the struggling casual restaurant chain tries to turn its business around.

In an August 10 news release, Applebee’s reported that comparable same-restaurant sales declined 6.2% for the second quarter of 2017, and they’re expected to range between negative 6% and negative 8% for fiscal 2017.

DineEquity Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s, described this as a “transitional year” for the chain.

MORE: Applebee's waiter serves 3 kids alcoholic root beer

Applebee’s is closing more than 100 restaurants

As part of its turnaround strategy, more restaurants will be closed than initially planned. The company now expects to shut down between 105 and 135 of its nearly 2,000 Applebee’s locations.

In May, the expectation was that between 40 to 60 restaurants would be shuttered in fiscal 2017.

No list of the affected locations has been released. Applebee’s says the expected closures will be based on several criteria, including franchisee profitability, operational results and meeting brand quality standards.

Applebee’s president John Cywinski said back in May that the turnaround plan was just beginning to take shape.

Applebee’s latest attempt to bring customers back is its new Topped & Loaded menu. Starting at $10.99, the customizable lineup features four protein choices, three toppers and four side options.

MORE: Instead of tip, Applebee's waitress gets "Stop eating"

Clark’s key takeaway

Money expert Clark Howard is recommending that you avoid buying restaurant and retail gift cards right now because so many locations are shutting down without notice.

Instead, just give cash — that way, you won’t have to worry about a store closing.

Read more from Clark Howard: Clark’s top 10 restaurant apps for free food and discounts

Why you don’t want to buy these gift cards