Say it isn’t so.
To think that some will never try IHOP’s French-toasted donuts just makes us want to cry. But DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP, just announced they're planning to close up to 160 restaurants.
As quick-service restaurants like Panera Bread increase their foot traffic, casual-dining establishments are suffering. Both Applebee’s and IHOP offer more indulgent menu items than health-focused restaurants such as Chipotle or Panera, which could be directly impacting their sales as consumers continue to search for healthier options.
For Applebee’s in particular, interim CEO Richard Dahl said in a statement that they're in the midst of a "transitional year" and are "making the necessary investments for overall long-term brand health." Dahl also mentioned that IHOP is “on solid ground, despite soft sales this quarter.” DineEquity’s plan is to open 20 to 30 Applebee’s outside of the U.S. and open 80 to 95 IHOP restaurants in new locations in the U.S.
There is no list thus far of the specific restaurants that will be closing, though it is believed to be ones in older locations lacking the once dynamic environment. The company is hoping that closing the sub-par locations could actually have a positive brand benefit, since guests are no longer being treated to the best experience, Amy Mason, senior vice president for global communications and consumer insights, told USA Today. Cheers to better customer service.
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