KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Steve Layt has been named senior vice president, operations for Applebee's Services Inc. He is responsible for providing strategic direction and focus on day-to-day management of domestic operations for the casual-dining brand and will report to Mike Archer, president.

Layt most recently was chief operating officer and executive vice president of Buffets Holdings Inc., where he was credited for significantly improving the Guest Satisfaction Index and increasing margins. Prior to that, he served as franchise head coach for Yum! Brands' Pizza Hut Division in the eastern US.

Layt’s undergraduate degree was earned at Southern Cross Univ. in Lismore, NSW, Australia.

"Steve will bring a tremendous blend of experience and fresh thinking to our brand," Archer said. "Applebee's is in the midst of a system-wide revitalization initiative, updating everything from our menu to our buildings. Steve's leadership will help guide the brand during a critical time in our growth."