An estimated 1 million people are expected to swarm into Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve to watch the famed ball-drop in person.
How many of them will end up at the Applebee’s restaurant nearby is uncertain, but the price they’d pay for their attendance is no secret: The eatery is charging patrons $375 a head for its "NYE Extravaganza."
If you’re younger than 12, your ticket would cost a mere $250. Same deal goes for the Applebee’s off Broadway a few blocks away — the world’s largest, according to its Facebook page.
The chain, normally known for its low-priced fare, will offer an all-you-can-eat buffet, a “premium” open bar, party favors and tunes spun by a DJ to ring in the new year.
Applebee’s is owned by DineEquity, Inc. of Glendale, which said that domestic same-store sales for the chain slipped 0.4% during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. During the period, customer traffic declined while the average check amount rose.
DineEquity, which also owns IHOP, revised its expectations for the fiscal year, saying it now anticipates that Applebee’s same-store sales will range from a 0.5% slide to a 0.5% increase. Earlier, the company had projected anything from a 1.5% slump to a 1.5% upswing for Applebee’s.
But DineEquity is less optimistic now about Applebee’s franchisees’ plans to open new restaurants, saying it predicts 25 to 30 openings compared with a prior forecast for 40 to 50 new units.