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Log In / Register | Aug 20, 2017

DineEquity to Close Up to 160 Locations, New CEO Steps in Next Month

​DineEquity says that it will close up to 160 locations, but also plans to open dozens of new restaurants. Stephen Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels, will be stepping in as DineEquity's new CEO on September 12, replacing longtime CEO Julia Stewart, who resigned effective March 1. In the meantime Richard Dahl, chairman of the board, is interim CEO.

Ms. Stewart was appointed CEO of IHOP in 2002 and engineered the acquisition of Applebee's in 2007. Sales performance problems at Applebee's prompted her resignation in February as chairman and CEO. Richard Dahl, chairman of the board, is interim CEO until Joyce, a member of the board since 2012, takes over.

DineEquity Inc. revised expectations for the full fiscal year during its quarterly earnings call, saying that 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants could close, compared to previous expectations that 40 to 60 locations could shut down. These closures will be determined based on criteria such as store profitability, operational results and “brand quality standards.”

At the same time, DineEquity said it expected to open 20 to 30 new Applebee’s restaurants across the globe, most in international locations. In a best-case scenario, the net number of Applebee’s closures could be 75.

On the IHOP side, DineEquity said closures could range between 20 and 25 restaurants, while the company expects to open 80 to 95 new locations, most of which will be in the U.S. That could mean 75 net openings for the chain. — Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times

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