Up to 160 iHop and Applebee’s restaurants are facing potential closure, up to 85 more than parent company DineEquity initially announced. The casual-dining sector has been facing competition from quick-service like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread, which are beginning to market themselves as healthy and upscale options. DineEquity reported a net income of USD$20.9 million, down almost $6 million from the same quarter the previous year. However, interim CEO Richard Dahl is positive about the moves.
"We are investing in the empowerment of our brands by improving overall franchisee financial health, closing underperforming restaurants and enhancing the supply chain," he said in a statement. He described the situation as a "transitional year" and said that the company is "making the necessary investments for overall long-term brand health."