As consumer preferences continue to swing in favor of fast-casual restaurants, Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and other casual-dining chains are losing market share. In an effort to regain those customers, the eatery has launched the largest rebranding campaign of its history. Much of the strategy behind the multi-million dollar effort, deployed by Applebee’s parent company DineEquity Inc. in Glendale, will consist of a revamped menu and new appliances. American-made wood-fired grills have replaced gas-powered grills in the chain’s kitchens, while hand-cut steaks, hand-cut pork chops and grilled chicken breasts – all with the USDA stamp – are now available at its 2,000 U.S. locations. “We are in the midst of a transformation at Applebee’s, and we are recommitting ourselves to every aspect of the guest experience,” said DineEquity’s Chief Executive Julia Stewart in a statement. “This goes beyond a few new menu items or a limited-time offer. This is the biggest investment in culinary excellence in the company’s history.” Read the full story in the June 13 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.