Bad news for fans of Applebee’s and IHOP: The parent company for the two chains plans to close more than 150 restaurants.
The parent company for both chains, DineEquity, says it plans to close between 105 and 135 Applebee’s locations and 20 to 25 IHOP restaurants.
The decision to close underperforming restaurants is part of an overall strategy to improve sales, according to DineEquity.
“We are investing in the empowerment of our brands by improving overall franchisee financial health, closing underperforming restaurants and enhancing the supply chain,” interim CEO Richard Dahl said in a statement.
The company has not said which specific restaurants will close.
Dahl also described 2017 as a “transitional year” for Applebee’s.
“We are making the necessary investments for overall long-term brand health and expect to see improvement over the next year,” he said.
As for IHOP, he pointed out that the restaurant plans to launch new online ordering a delivery initiatives to make eating there more convenient for customers.
There could also be an IHOP app coming to your phone in the near future.
“IHOP remains on solid ground, despite soft sales this quarter. I am optimistic about the growth in both effective franchise restaurants and system-wide sales. IHOP is currently rolling out initiatives to address the convenience needs of our guests, which are inclusive of online ordering as well as accelerating tests for delivery and development of an IHOP mobile application. We believe these will create enhanced revenue channels.”
As we learn more we’ll keep you posted—like our Facebook page for updates or tell us if your local Applebee’s or IHOP is closing.
Initially, the company had said it planned to close only 40 to 60 Applebee’s restaurants and roughly 18 IHOP locations.
But they revised those numbers upward this week when they announced the company’s second-quarter performance.
The second quarter of 2017 was rough for both chains.
IHOP’s sales declined 2.6 percent this quarter, while Applebee’s sales declined 6.2 percent.
Over the first six months of this year, IHOP’s sales declined 2.1 percent and Applebee’s sales declined 7 percent.
Reactions To Closing News
People had mixed reactions to the news that some Applebee’s and IHOP locations might be closing.
One woman took to Twitter to let the world that she was not happy.
Stop closing all of the Applebees!!! I love Applebees and I'm so upset that they closed the one in Columbia.
— Tia (@ColossalRed) August 11, 2017
Others were more dramatic about it on social media.
NOOOOO NOT APPLEBEES http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=88890X1555132&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FwpRikOHJZB
— Real John Mclain (@john1220mclain) August 11, 2017
The news didn’t come as a surprise to many who wondered aloud why Applebee’s had been trying to reinvent itself to appeal to new generations, particularly millennials.
"What shall I kill today?" Millennials whisper every morning while consuming avocados on toast.
In the distance, Boomers mourn for Applebees
— Elizabeth M. (@_ElizabethMay) August 9, 2017
Restaurant Recession In Focus
Things have been pretty bad for chain restaurants like Applebee’s and IHOP. So bad that some people are calling this period a “restaurant recession.”
Other restaurants, including Noodles & Company, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s, are also closing restaurant locations.
Many brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling, too.
Apparently, people are just looking for trendier or more locally owned places to spend their money.
“In terms of casual dining, a lot of it kind of comes down to the brands that are just kind of dated,” analyst Colin Radke told Business Insider.