Another one (hundred and sixty) bite the dust.
DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee's and IHOP, is ready to close up to 160 Applebee's and IHOP locations as part of an ongoing push to shut down restaurants that are underperforming so they can better compete with quick-serve chains like Panera and Chipotle. According to USA Today, DineEquity is considering closing between 105 to 130 Applebee's and 20 to 25 IHOPs. Business Insider reports that in 2016, Applebee's shuttered 46 locations.
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"Closing these well-below average restaurants can have a positive brand benefit since guests are no longer experiencing a substandard experience," DineEquity's senior vice president for global communications and consumer insights, Amy Mason, told USA Today.
But it's not all bad news. According to the same USA Today report, there are plans to open 125 new restaurants globally — including an Applebee's and IHOP combination store in Detroit, MI. Seriously! Of that 125, most new Applebee's will be overseas, but DineEquity plans to open 80 to 95 IHOPs in the U.S., which is an increase in previous estimates.
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This news comes as DineEquity looks to rebrand the two franchises to appeal more to millennials.
"Over the past few years, the brand's set out to reposition or reinvent Applebee's as a modern bar and grill in overt pursuit of a more youthful and affluent demographic with a more independent or even sophisticated dining mindset, including a clear pendulum swing towards millennials," John Cywinski, Applebee's brand president told Business Insider.
DineEquity has not released news regarding which specific Applebee's and IHOP locations are closing, so keep your fingers crossed that yours is not on the list.
h/t Country Living
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