DineEquity Inc. joined the private space race Wednesday by announcing it will launch the first ever International Space Applebee’s.
The announcement follows on the heels of Tuesday’s historic launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, which marked a new era for private space exploration in the United States.
DineEquity acquired Applebee’s International Inc. in 2007 following the success of its flagship IHOP franchise. The company briefly flirted with the idea of an Intergalactic House of Pancakes in 1992 following positive feedback from focus groups, but was stymied by regulations favoring NASA and government funded space exploration.
With NASA’s recent downsizing and cost cutting mechanisms favoring contracts with private space companies, DineEquity has been able to finally capitalize on moon acreage and star registries bought by several employees who used to watch a lot of X-Files.
Julia Stewart, a casual dining visionary and CEO of DineEquity, said she is certain the future of family restaurant chains is in space. In 2008 Stewart launched DineX, a special venture charged with re-branding the Applebee’s image and bringing it to the same international customer that clamored for pancakes—by launching it into orbit.
“Russians, Americans, Chinese, they’re all going to be hungry up there,” Stewart said. “So I recommend the Ultimate Trio of Potato Poppers, Cheeseburger Sliders and Chicken Wonton Tacos. There’s something for every nationality and ethnic palate.”
DineX engineers haven’t had to change the old Applebee’s model much, saying the Double Glazed Baby Back Ribs served on earth are already freeze dried re-heatables perfect for extended space missions.
“Applebee’s will be a popular rest stop before returning to earth” said famed astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson, “But discerning whether vomiting induced on re-entry is caused by gravitational forces or undercooked pork chops will be difficult.”
Applebee’s Carside To Go will also be infinitely more difficult in a zero gravity environment. But DineX is confident it can develop a space van that will allow an astronaut mother of three to perform an efficient five minute docking with the International Space Applebee’s.
“Space locations will also be beyond the jurisdiction of the FDA,” said Senior Vice President of Human Resources John Jakubek, “We’re really excited to be able to cut a lot of costs. We’ll obviously lower our food standards, and new hiring practices will not be subject to war crimes accusations as defined by the Geneva Convention, since it has yet to be applied to any star systems.”
“There’s no place like the galactic neighborhood,” Stewart concluded, “And this is really about local food. We want everyone to eat their small town pub fare all the time, no matter how logistically and practically impossible that is. We’ll sacrifice everything to make it happen in space.”