An Applebee's Multi-Unit Franchisee's Day

Applebee's neon sign

Multi-unit franchisee Zane Tankel, 73, lets us take a peek at a day in his life. He is the CEO and chairman of Apple-Metro, franchisee of 36 Applebee's locations in the New York City area with 2,800 employees. He and partner Ray Raeburn opened their first Applebee's restaurant on Staten Island in 1994. Today Raeburn is Apple-Metro's president. Tankel puts in appearances at Fox Business News as a commentator and he is also a director at an energy company.

On an average day, Tankel, who is 73, wakes up around 6:30 a.m. at his home in Alpine, New Jersey, and by 7 a.m. enjoys a healthy breakfast—a veggie shake—and reviews reports of goings on at each of his restaurants the night before, including the sales and earnings figures. That early morning data, he says, can dramatically affect the rest of the day. “If there are any big anomalies, my next call is to Neesha Seervai, our chief operating officer and director of operations. She’s a morning person, she’s a heat-seeking missile and she’s already got answers.”

Issues worthy of discussion can include cost spikes at certain locations at certain times of night, logistical or even whether altercations took place at one of the restaurants. “When you have a licensed premises—liquor—people walk in lambs and turn into lions while they’re drinking,” says Tankel. “That manifests itself in violence too often.”

By 7:30 a.m. Tankel begins his daily 90-minute workout, which can consist of biking, lifting weights, walking or, in the summer, taking a swim in his pool. Athletics has always been important to the restaurateur. He was an athlete in high school and college, and even spent ten years as an amateur mountain climber. “It clears mind and body,” he says. —Karsten Strauss, Forbes

Read more