Grupo Colón-Gerena, the franchise holder for Applebee’s casual dining restaurants in Puerto Rico, announced the opening of the chain’s eighth location, near the Montehiedra Outlet center.
The new eatery opened its doors recently, following a $1.6 million investment that will also create 169 new jobs, the company said.
Due to the timing of the opening, the restaurant will operate in compliance with current rules to respond and curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, company officials said.
That includes operating its dining rooms at 50% capacity, as well as implementing health and hygiene protocols. The company installed an air conditioning system built under International Mechanical Code standards, which it says exceeds compliance with the volume of fresh air per person, injected into the kitchen and dining room area, to prevent the spread of the virus.
During the emergency, it will offer pick-up and delivery services.
“Despite the circumstances we’re facing, we must continue moving forward. Yes, the current challenges are significant. However, our commitment is to go on with our plans of measured and responsible growth, with the goal of always contributing to the development of the island through initiatives of this nature that represent confidence in the market,” said Lizmarie Medina, chief marketing officer at Grupo Colón-Gerena.
The new Applebee’s is Grupo Colón Gerena’s second venture in front of the mall. In February the company launched a new Wendy’s, a fast-service restaurant chain that is also one of the Group’s brands. The Applebee’s brand has been in the market for 10 years.