2 well-known restaurant brands may soon share dining spaces

(NEXSTAR) — In a few years’ time, you might be able to order an Applebee’s Irresist-A-Bowl and a side of IHOP’s Minion pancakes under the same roof.

John Peyton, the CEO of Dine Brands Global, confirmed in an earnings call last week the company is aiming to introduce a “dual-branded” Applebee’s/IHOP restaurant concept in the United States. Eight such restaurants already exist in other countries where Dine Brands operates, including Canada, Kuwait, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.

Peyton revealed the company’s intentions to bring the concept to the U.S. in response to a question from a Barclay’s analyst, who inquired about plans for increasing the number of Applebee’s locations both stateside and abroad.

An image shows signage outside of the Dine Brands Global corporate headquarters in Glendale, California, in 2020. (AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Peyton responded, in part, by touting the success of the dual-branded Mexico location, which he claimed to be generating “two times or more” the revenue of a similarly sized single-branded restaurant. The reason, he suggested, involved the two menus covering more “day parts” than either’s single menu.

“And that’s a big innovation that we’re nurturing overseas, and that our intent is to eventually bring (it) to the U.S. when we find the right opportunity to introduce it,” he said.

Dine Brands’ executives did not say when any dual-branded restaurants might open in the U.S.

Peyton briefly mentioned how the restaurants would operate, with a shared kitchen and a “blended” area for guests in the front-of-house. YouTube videos shared by Dine Brands franchisees also show the branding of the two restaurants remaining separate on the storefronts (often side-by-side) with open-layout dining areas that encompass both dining areas.

Speaking with Nation’s Restaurant News about possible U.S. locations, Peyton said the dual-branded restaurants would also have separate entrances for both Applebee’s and IHOP, essentially making them appear as side-by-side restaurants with loosely defined dining areas.

“At breakfast, when there are more IHOP customers, customers can be seated in the Applebee’s area and vice versa at dinner,” Peyton told the outlet.

Such a concept is far from foreign to American consumers, with dual-branded eateries like Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s, or Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, sharing the same retail spaces.

Peyton, though, told Nation’s Restaurant News that he believes Applebee’s and IHOP are an especially good match because their menus largely cater to different times of day.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity because the two brands are complementary,” he said.


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