These Two Beloved Restaurant Chains Are Closing Up To 115 Locations
Two of your favorite restaurant chains are owned by the same company—Dine Brands Global, Inc. Despite improving sales, up to 115 Applebee's and IHOP locations may close for good within the next six months, the company revealed in its third quarter report.
Sales at both restaurant chains increased nearly every week from July through September, the company said in its report. However, it's still recovering from a sales drop brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. Citing "the impact of the pandemic on individual restaurant-level economics," the company expects to close less than 100 underperforming IHOP locations in the next six months. In addition, 15 Applebee's franchisees will close before the end of 2020. (These two chains aren't the only ones to reveal closings—here are 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)
"Closures are part of the normal course of business in the industry, especially for a company of our size and footprint, and occur for many reasons—including a restaurant being in a lapsed trade area where once vibrant traffic characteristics are no longer present or as a result of leases expiring, among other reasons," a Dine Brands spokesperson told Eat This, Not That! "We are confident that we will eventually replace these severely underperforming locations with better performing restaurants that have volumes closer to pre-COVID levels."
There's no information available about which locations will close for good, but The Wall Street Journal reported IHOP President Jay Johns told investors that "we're evaluating only greatly underperforming restaurants that we currently believe are not viable coming out of the pandemic."
Dine Brands also stressed in its Q3 report that things are looking up. As of the end of September, 97% of domestic restaurants were open, the company said.
"We believe that both Applebee's and IHOP are well-positioned to build on the impressive expansion of our off-premise growth, return restaurant sales to pre-pandemic levels, and resume our solid history of growth," Dine Brands CEO Steve Joyce said as he announced the quarterly results.
Off-premise sales continue to account for quite a bit of each restaurant's business. Nearly 35% of sales at both Applebee's and IHOP from July through September were carryout and delivery orders.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Dine Brands.