Of the four Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar eateries in the Coachella Valley, in what city would you guess the top-performing casual dining restaurant is located?

A)    Palm Desert

B)    Cathedral City

C)    La Quinta

D)    Indio

The answer is B, Cathedral City.


The popular chain restaurant, which has been around since the ‘80s, was the first of its kind in the desert, said Kevin Lesandro, general manager.

Located at 32400 Date Palm Drive, it has enjoyed a high profile in the community and has a loyal customer base, Lesandro said.

“This restaurant has always been a high performer,” Lesandro said. “We have a great retention rate. We hold ourselves to a high standard. We pride ourselves on staying up to date and have a high bar for cleanliness. We work hard.”

During a recent Business Walk visit to the restaurant, Cathedral City City Manager Charlie  McClendon confirmed that the Cathedral City location continues to be the No. 1 producing store in the Coachella Valley.

Lesandro also has the Applebee’s restaurants in Beaumont and Yucca Valley. The Cathedral City eatery outperforms them as well, he said.

Not only does the Cathedral City location, one of more than 1,900 in the world, ring up top sales among the half dozen local restaurants, it also has the highest customer satisfaction rate, based on a standard survey system, Lesandro said.

“We have a lot of locals that come in here. We can’t please everybody and we’re human. We make mistakes,” he said. “But when do, we correct it, learn from it and do better the next time.”

Some of the uptick in customers at the Cathedral City location might come from those who used to frequent the Rancho Mirage restaurant, which closed its doors after 17 years in July 2017.

Applebee’s is known for its innovative menu items, fun, boozy drinks, and half-price appetizers. And, seriously, how could you not mention The Triple Chocolate Meltdown?

Warm, rich, fudge-filled chocolate cake is drizzled with hot fudge and served with vanilla ice cream.. “We’ve got some really good specials coming up,” Lesandro teased. Spoken like a champion general manager.