Applebee's rolls out new Weight Watchers dishes


Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar has extended its eight-year agreement with Weight Watchers International Inc., adding three items to its diet-plan-endorsed menu.

The casual-dining chain has offered Weight Watchers items since its initial agreement in 2004, the company said.

“For guests who are Weight Watchers members, as well as those looking for smarter options, these new Weight Watchers dishes deliver,” said Kansas City, Mo.-based Applebee’s Services Inc. president Mike Archer in a statement.

With the addition of these three new menu entrees, Applebee’s now offers nine Weight Watchers options. The new dishes are:

Creamy Parmesan Chicken: Grilled chicken breast with an au gratin Parmesan sauce, steamed spinach and mushroom-rice pilaf. It has 470 calories and a Weight Watchers points value of 12.

Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp: Grilled shrimp, black bean-corn salsa, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, onions, red pepper and steamed rice. It has 300 calories and a points value of eight.

Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin: A seven-ounce cut with sautéed Portobello mushrooms, onions, steamed herbed potatoes and garlic broccoli. It has 460 calories and a points value of 12.

Dave Burwick, president of Weight Watchers International’s North American division, said the Applebee’s items makes it easier for dieters to make more healthful decisions when dining out.

A Technomic Inc. study released late last year found that the use of the word “healthy” in menu descriptions had increased 86 percent in the past year. And the National Restaurant Association’s “2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast” released earlier this month found that nearly three-quarters of consumers said they were trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did two years ago.

Applebee’s, a division of DineEquity Inc., has 2,000 locations in 49 states and 16 nations.

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