4Q sales improve at Applebee’s, IHOP

Higher checks offset traffic declines, DineEquity says

Revitalization efforts and higher checks boosted fourth-quarter sales at DineEquity’s Applebee’s and IHOP brands, despite declines in guest traffic, the company said Wednesday.

In a preview of results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, DineEquity said a 2.1-percent price increase helped build check averages despite falling guest counts at the 2,000-unit Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar.

DineEquity also cited ongoing marketing initiatives and menu enha

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