Kansas City, Mo.-based Applebee's seems to be fully embracing the fast casual concept. The express lunch service it introduced at one location last summer was such a success that the casual dining chain is now offering the service in all of its 23 corporate-owned restaurants in the KC area, according to the Kansas City Star.

During lunch on the weekdays, a section of the restaurant turns into a fast casual operation, where guests can order and pay upfront at the Applebee's Express Lunch counter. Similar to other operations at fast casual joints, they then get a number and seat themselves. Servers bring the drinks and food to the table, but customers can leave as soon as they're done.

If customers embrace the fast casual lunches, the chain may roll it out to franchisees.

Read more about trends.

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