DineEquity CEO Julia Stewart on Transformation of IHOP and Applebee’s
The demand for fast casual food has grown so much in the past few years that many people won’t consider sitting down to eat anymore. Julia Stewart, the CEO at DineEquity is working to reverse that trend by polishing up the IHOP experience. The work is paying off with the chain seeing increases in same-store sales for five consecutive financial quarters. The team is also polishing up Applebee’s to keep it competitive with speed focused chains like Chipotle’s.
A wide range of changes are driving this increase in sales for the traditional sit-down chain. Menu improvements at both Applebee’s and IHOP are boosting interest. The DineEquity team trimmed down the sheer number of options on each chain’s list, with Applebee’s getting 95% of their old menu items replaced or refined in just a year.
The team is also pushing hard with marketing efforts to get these two names in front of hungry viewers again. The world of breakfast is getting even more competitive with good options emerging in pre-packaged foods and fast food alike, but improved menus and marketing efforts are getting more diners in the seats at IHOP for eating breakfast as a slower pace.