August 11, 2022

You’re the Boss Blog: Can an Applebee’s Franchisee Be a Real Entrepreneur?

Zane Tankel built the highest-grossing Applebee's in the world.Ruth Fremson/The New York TimesZane Tankel built the highest-grossing Applebee’s in the world.

Today’s Question

What small-business owners think.

We’ve just published a lively small-business conversation with Zane Tankel, who bought into the established Applebee’s business model but who has also challenged that model in many ways, including what his employees wear, how they are hired and rewarded, where he builds his restaurants, and what food those restaurants serve. Based on revenue numbers confirmed by Applebee’s, the results have been impressive. “Maybe this kind of thing isn’t for the average franchisee,” Mr. Tankel told Eilene Zimmerman, “but we pushed the envelope right from the start, took those protocols to the next level, and I think that’s entrepreneurship.”

Please take a look at the conversation and tell us what you think: Is Mr. Tankel an entrepreneur?

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