[Case Study] How Applebee’s increased their number of applicants by 150% with HigherMe

HigherMe Applebee's Case Study

Applebee’s Grill and Bar is an American casual restaurant chain with over 1,800 locations in the USA and worldwide, mostly operated by franchisees. One of their multi-unit franchises, Quality Restaurant Concepts, LLC (QRC), manage and operate 60 restaurant locations in the Southeastern United States.


QRC’s mission is to provide a great guest experience every time, but that was a challenge when they struggled to keep all their restaurants fully staffed. Managers looking to hire relied heavily on accepting paper applications and résumés from job seekers, creating a very manual hiring process. To reach more job seekers, QRC had an agreement with Snagajob to post open jobs online. However, Snagajob’s promotion wasn’t getting them the reach they needed, and they still needed to pay to promote their job posts on Indeed. Using both Snagajob and Indeed was creating duplicate work for the team, and also had high rates of candidate drop-off.

QRC would also attend local job fairs and meet great talent, but then would have no way to get applicants to apply on the spot. Many applicants were told to apply online through Snagajob or Indeed once they got home, but few would actually submit an application.

Once they finally did get applications, managers were spending three hours or more each day playing phone tag to schedule or reschedule interviews.

Kristi W., QRC’s Director of HR, saw how much time and money managers were spending on hiring, and seeing little results. With one location getting as few as eight applications per week, she knew something needed to change.


QRC knew that if they wanted to get more candidates, they needed to make applying for their open jobs as easy as possible. With HigherMe, they set up a branded careers page for their franchise group, listing each location and their open positions. With job postings that are accessible from any device, candidates can apply from their phone or computer.

To update their in-store hiring practice of accepting paper résumés, QRC started using Text-To-Apply to get the attention of passing job seekers. By texting the unique code, APPLE, candidates can start an application straight away on their phone.

Shortly after signing up with HigherMe, QRC saw a 150% increase in the number of applicants they were getting, and increased their application completion rate to 73%.

Every application QRC receive can be viewed on HigherMe’s Applicant Tracking System. Managers can easily review the applicant’s availability, distance from the restaurant location, and FitScore. Qualified candidates are invited to an interview using automated interview scheduling, saving managers time, reducing phone tag, and increasing the number of applicants who actually show up for their scheduled interview.

“Managers are spending an hour a day (rather than three or so previously) scheduling interviews and updating statuses on completed interviews. They’re able to quickly schedule people and not have to cold call an applicant and play phone tag for a response to an invite.” – Kristi W., HR Director, Quality Restaurant Concepts, LLC

Since initially signing up three of their locations and quickly expanding to all 60 of their restaurants, QRC have been using HigherMe since 2018 to provide a better experience for applicants and reduce time to hire. Most importantly, by having an easy way to stay fully staffed at each location, QRC can focus on their mission of providing a great guest experience every time.

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