Hobbit Business Review

Applebee’s and IHOP Are Launching Joint Restaurants in the U.S.

Two popular fast-casual chains — Applebee’s and IHOP — are teaming up to launch a joint restaurant concept.

Dine Brands Global, which owns both companies, announced during a Q4 2023 earnings call that it will be opening co-branded dining establishments with combined cooking areas and seating arrangements.

The new dual establishments will reportedly have “discreet” entrances which will help keep both IHOP and Applebee’s areas separated, but open during peak hours for each chain to increase seating capacity. The company did not specify when or where the next locations were set to open.

For example, during a breakfast rush, when IHOP sees its highest traffic, the Applebee’s designated area of the combined space will be open for seating as well.

“At breakfast, when there are more IHOP customers, customers can be seated in the Applebee’s area and vice versa at dinner,” CEO John Peyton told Nation’s Restaurant News in an interview.

Peyton said that the company has already launched eight “prototypes” in international markets, including its most recent dual location opening in January in Leone, Mexico.

Peyton said Mexico is one of the company’s “largest international markets” and noted that both chains individually “delivered another year of positive comp sales growth” for the parent company.

“We will continue to monitor the success of this test concept and will consider options for further expansion in the U.S. in select locations if and when it makes sense to do so,” Peyton said.

IHOP purchased Applebee’s in 2007 in a deal that cost an estimated $1.9 billion.

Dine Brands, which consists of IHOP, Applebee’s, and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, had an estimated 3,600 restaurant locations as of March 2023.

The company was down just under 30% year over year as of Thursday afternoon.

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