Trinity Capital Completes the Sale of El Apple, LLC, an Applebee’s Franchisee based in Texas

Trinity Capital Completes the Sale of El Apple, LLC, an Applebee's Franchisee based in Texas

Trinity Capital Completes the Sale of El Apple, LLC, an Applebee's Franchisee based in TexasLos Angeles, CA  (Restaurant News Release)  Trinity Capital, LLC, a boutique investment banking firm based in Los Angeles, California, announces the completion of the sale of Applebee’s restaurants located in El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico.  The restaurants were acquired by Lone Star Apple, LLC, a newly formed entity and new entrant to the Applebee’s system. Lone Star is led by John Hjalmquist, an experienced restaurant operator who also operates 46 Peter Piper Pizza restaurants.

Trinity Capital’s existing relationships with the leadership teams at Dine Brands Global, Applebee’s® Neighborhood Grill + Bar, coupled with its extensive network of franchisees and investors in the restaurant industry were  important factors in El Apple’s decision to select Trinity as their investment banker for this transaction. In addition, Trinity has a proven track record of completing numerous successful assignments in the Applebee’s system.

“Aside from the wealth of experience and brand knowledge, I was really impressed with Trinity Capital’s responsiveness, precision with their analytics and the amount of interest they were able to generate during the process. I truly valued their reasonable and logical approach to assist us in dealing with the challenges that surfaced along the way. Trinity proved to be a critical component to our successful transaction,” said CEO of El Apple, Jim Gore.

Applebee’s category-leading value and appeal to consumers across generations has helped propel the brand forward over the past several years.

“Despite the challenges and attention casual dining, as a category, has faced over the past several years, we were very pleased to learn that our Applebee’s business would be so well received in the marketplace,” added Gore. “Having a new capable franchise partner group join the Applebee’s community is a welcome addition for the brand and we are thrilled to know that our legacy will continue under new ownership who is already very familiar with our organization and the El Paso market.”

“Applebee’s, in particular remains highly relevant with its core customer and has adequately distanced itself from the turnaround. The brand is resonating among Millennials and is uniquely positioned to capture additional market share. From Drink of the Month promotions to having the most advertising muscle in the category, efforts within the company have helped bring “top of mind” attention back to the brand” added David Stiles, Managing Director with Trinity Capital, who represented El Apple in the sale.

Trinity Capital has completed more than $20 billion in successful transactions for brands such as Benihana, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, Norm’s Restaurants and Shakey’s Pizza, and franchisors and its franchise partners of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Panera, Burger King, Popeyes, Little Caesars, Buffalo Wild Wings, and others.

About Trinity Capital

Trinity Capital is a leading independent investment bank focused on providing financial advice to middle-market businesses on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged and management buyouts, private placements of debt and equity, debt restructuring and strategic advisory assignments. The firm, a FINRA-registered financial advisor, combines Wall Street experience and investor relationships with boutique client service and has deep sector expertise in restaurants, consumer/retail, food and beverage, and other industries. Transaction inquiries should be directed to David Stiles at or Kevin Burke at or visit for more information.

Athena Fleming