DineEquity to complete Applebee’s franchising initiative

DineEquity to complete Applebee’s franchising initiative

With sale of 65 restaurants in Michigan, the casual-dining chain is nearly fully franchised

DineEquity Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to sell 65 Applebee’s restaurants in Michigan, a move that when finalized, will complete the company’s five-year strategy of turning the casual-dining chain into an almost fully franchised brand.

Since acquiring Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in 2007, Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity has sold or entered into agreements to sell all of its 510 domestic company-operated restaurants, except for 23 test market l

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