Applebee’s and IHOP are launching co-branded locations with both chains under one roof

Two of America’s iconic chain eateries are set to combine forces — literally.

The parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s has announced it has begun opening dual-branded locations, combining back-of-the house cooking areas and blending front-of-the-house dining areas, though with discrete entrances.

On parent Dine Brands Global’s most recent earnings call, CEO John Peyton said the company had already rolled out eight prototypes of the concept at select international locations, the most recent one opening in León, Mexico, about four hours northwest of Mexico City.

The idea is to reduce costs while maximizing revenues by attracting customers dining at different parts of the day to the same location, Peyton said.

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

Peyton said the plan would be to “eventually” bring the concept of the U.S., without specifying a timetable.

Dine Brands, which also owns Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, has faced challenges in recent years amid changing tastes and rising cost pressures. It has closed hundreds of Applebee’s locations since 2017, including 46 in 2023. Peyton also noted on the earnings call that customers continued to pull back on their spending last year.

Still, Dine Brands plans to open 25 new restaurants with Applebee’s largest operator, Flynn Restaurant Group. These will feature a more modern, streamlined restaurant that will include features like robotic beer dispensers.

As for IHOP, Peyton sees the brand as a market leader with a track record of growth, noting that 46 new U.S. locations opened last year.

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