Chairman and CEO
Zane Tankel is the Chairman and CEO of Apple-Metro, Inc. and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Zane, along with co-founder Roy Raeburn, started Apple-Metro in 1994 with the opening of a single restaurant on Staten Island.
After meeting Roy Raeburn through the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and identifying Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar as a viable casual dining concept, Zane and Roy proceeded to create an infrastructure and corporate ethos that has taken Apple-Metro to approximately $190 million in annual sales. Today, Apple-Metro is the exclusive, New York Metro Area Applebee’s Franchisee. It is 33 units strong and growing, including two units of the Fast Casual Pizza concept – Pizza Studio.
Operating restaurants in all five boroughs, Westchester and Rockland Counties, Apple-Metro employs approximately 3,000 local residents, holds a regular position in the Top 10 performing Applebee’s Franchisees internationally and is one of the premier restaurant operators in the New York Area. Apple-Metro has received the highest honor at Applebee’s Services Inc.’s (A.S.I.) Annual Franchise Convention: the 2009 and 2010 Applebee’s Services Inc. Franchisee of the Year award. Apple-Metro is in the top 50 of all franchisees across all concepts in the United States and was also the first to enter underserved urban minority neighborhoods. In 2005, Zane was honored with the “Innovator Award” from Applebee’s International. In 2008, Crain’s New York Business added Apple-Metro to its list of largest privately held companies and Zane won the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®” award for the Metro New York area.
Zane is a former Chairman of the Metro Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Chief Executives organization, Metropolitan Presidents Organization (MPO), the NY Chapter of World Presidents Organization (WPO) and was a founder of the advisory board for the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem. He also serves on the board of several public companies such as Caribbean Restaurant Group, and the Aly Energy Group, an oil field services company. In addition, he serves on several other private equity boards, chairing various committees. He has taught / been a guest lecturer at The Wharton School, Pace University, York College, Ramapo College.
Zane is an often sought after TV commentator on Business and Politics by such Networks as FOX Business (Cavuto, Varney, Asman ) MSNBC, CNBC and others. And, profiled in the NY Times, NY Post as well as industry trade publications.
Zane was a mountain climber for 10 years climbing various peaks in Peru, Ecuador, Chile and North America. In 1985 he was a member of the Canadian expedition to Mount Everest. Zane has also travelled over land to both the North and South Poles.
He and his wife, Joan, have two wonderful daughters, Melani and Nicole. Zane’s motto has always been to exceed customers’ expectations, and to concentrate on being the best.
Roy Raeburn is a graduate of the University of Witwatersrand Business School in South Africa. He was the owner/operator of a high-tech ophthalmic and medical business, which he sold before coming to the United States in 1983, initially owning and operating a promotional and advertising business before entering the restaurant business through the acquisition of a number of Roy Rogers units. After acquiring the development rights for Applebee’s in Staten Island, Westchester and Rockland Counties in New York.
Roy was active on the Franchise Advisory Council for Roy Rogers for a period of five years, and acted as its President in 1992 and 1993. He is one of the five elected members of the franchise business council for Applebee’s®.
Roy is presently a member of the New York Chapter of the World Presidents Organization.
Roy is currently a member of the following Applebee’s® International committees; Franchise Business Council, Franchise Menu and Marketing Council and the Data Mining Committee.
Roy and Zane are passionate about providing an excellent dining experience for their customers, and their efforts are being rewarded through the tremendous support they are receiving from the communities in which they have opened restaurants.
Roy and his wife Charmion have a daughter, Sacha. All of the family members are avid skiers and enjoy traveling.
Chief Operating Officer
Neesha Seervai is a Business Management graduate of St. John’s University (Class of 2000). In her current role, she is responsible for the management of 34 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar Locations. Since 2001, she has demonstrated an extraordinary insight for driving operational excellence and profitability at the individual unit level as a General Manager as well as multi-unit groups as an Area Operations Director. Neesha is also a strong developer of people, many of whom have shadowed her management growth at Apple-Metro, Inc.
Neesha was a 2011 “Women of Influence in the Food Industry honoree”.