UnNews:Applebee's takes a hit after menu change

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19 September 2006

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Happy spinach is a vanishing breed.

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas -- In the face of the recent widespread E.coli spinach contamination, corporate leaders of the popular American restaurant chain Applebee's issued a press release today apologizing for the "extremely unlucky" timing of the restaurant's lastest menu theme, titled "Spinach Sensations".

"It should be known that we were planning on rolling out the new menu Monday, but in light of the recent E. coli outbreak, we have decided to shelve the menu until the appropriate time," said CEO Jim Smith from Applebee's Headquarters in Kansas City.

"We were really looking forward to giving our guests the new delicious FRESH Spinach Ciabatta with Spinach Dip, or perhaps the Spinach Fiesta Fajitas with FRESH Spinach if they're in the mood for a fun treat," Smith added.

Applebee's (APPL) saw its stock drop five points immediately after the announcement, leading some to believe the Applebee's had no backup plan, despite Smith's pleas to the contrary.

"We absolutely have a backup plan, but we are not at liberty to discuss what that would be. Meanwhile, may we tempt you with our wild new Spinach Spinners Delight with FRESH bagged Spinach, or perhaps the mouthwatering Spinach Spinach Salad with Spinach?" Smith said, flashing all his shiny, white teeth.

Some guests voiced concern that Applebee's was not very forethinking in its choice of menu items.

"I don't know much about E. coli. Isn't that what you get when you pet the goats at the petting zoo and then forget to wash your hands? Why are they serving us goats?" questioned one West Virginia Applebee's guest.

Another wondered aloud, "Who the hell likes to eat spinach, anyway?"

There is currently no timetable for the release of the menu, as Applebee's appears to be dedicated to following the lead of the FDA closely.

"If the FDA says there's no spinach for our Spinach Quesadillas, Spinach Burgers, or Spinach Quesadilla Burgers, then there's no spinach," Smith admitted. "We just really want to finally let our loyal guests taste that creamy spinach in their mouths, feel it crawl down their throats with smooth satisfaction, wait two to four days and see what happens."

This is widely considered to be the worst-timed menu theme since the Irish dining chain "Patches" released the campaign "Taters, Taters, and More Taters" in 1854.