Columbus Ledger-Enquirer:

Amid what is expected to be a rebound year for the U.S. restaurant sector, the Applebee’s franchisee for the Columbus-Phenix City area is investing $600,000 into the three locations here.

“They are some of our older restaurants and were in need,” Debbie Passmore, vice president of operations with Atlanta-based AmRest LLC, said Tuesday. “The one on Airport Thruway is not as old; we relocated it not long ago. But the rest were just ready for a facelift.”

AmRest is the second-largest Applebee’s franchisee in the nation, with 103 restaurants in Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and New Mexico.

The Columbus upgrades are part of a chainwide revitalization project that Applebee’s aims to have completed by 2014.