Diner chains to shut some sites

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Sa­man­tha Ma­sunaga sa­man­tha.ma­sunaga@la­times.com

The Glen­dale-based par­ent of Ap­ple­bee’s and IHOP restau­rants said Thurs­day that as many as 160 lo­ca­tions could close through­out this fis­cal year, though the com­pany also plans to open dozens of new restau­rants.

DineEquity Inc. re­vised ex­pec­ta­tions for its full fis­cal year dur­ing an earn­ings call for its sec­ond quar­ter that ended June 30, say­ing that 105 to 135 Ap­ple­bee’s restau­rants could close, com­pared with 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.

World­wide, there are 1,968 Ap­ple­bee’s lo­ca­tions and 1,752 IHOP restau­rants.

DineEquity also named Stephen Joyce, former head of ho­tel firm Choice Ho­tels In­ter­na­tional Inc., as its new chief ex­ec­u­tive. Joyce re­places Ju­lia Stewart, who en­gi­neered the IHOP and Ap­ple­bee’s merger.

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