DineEquity Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP, has changed its name to Dine Brands Global Inc., the Glendale, Calif.-based operator said Tuesday.
“We are a company in transition,” said Stephen P. Joyce, CEO of Dine Brands, during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
“Our new company name reflects a shift in strategy and a values-based performance culture with greater autonomy and accountability at the brand level,” Joyce said in a release. “We are focused on returning to a growth company and delivering strong returns to our shareholders.”
Joyce has been with the company since September 2017.
“We continue to make excellent progress against our plan to stabilize and grow performance at both brands,” Joyce said in the release. “We are working on several exciting initiatives to expand our revenue channels, continually enhance the guest experience, improve operations and grow our global presence while investing in the long-term health of our two strong brands."
Nation’s Restaurant News will publish an interview with Joyce on Wednesday.
For fiscal 2017, Dine Brands reported a net loss of $324 million, or a net loss per share of $18.28, compared with net income of $96.6 million, or earnings per share of $5.33, in fiscal 2016.
For the fourth quarter, the company reported net income of $83 million, or earnings per share of $4.67. In the fourth quarter of 2016, net income was $21.1 million with earnings per share of $1.18. The increase was primarily due to a tax benefit of $66.6 million related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of December 2017.
Applebee’s fourth-quarter U.S. systemwide same-store sales rose 1.3 percent but fell 5.3 percent in the fiscal year. U.S. same-store sales at IHOP dropped 0.4 percent in the quarter and declined 1.9 percent in the fiscal year.
The company has changed its name before. In June 2008, IHOP Corp. changed its name to DineEquity Inc. after acquiring Applebee’s. The acquisition was made under former CEO Julia Stewart, who was pushed out in February 2017. Under Stewart’s leadership, Applebee’s faced its fair share of struggles as it tried to appeal to younger, more affluent consumers.
For fiscal 2018, Applebee's and IHOP's U.S. systemwide same-store sales are expected to range from flat to 3 percent.
Applebee's franchisees are expected to develop 10 to 15 new restaurants worldwide, the majority of which will be international openings. The chain is expected to close approximately 60 to 80 restaurants. IHOP franchisees and its area licensee plan to develop 85 to 100 restaurants worldwide, the majority of which will be in the U.S. The chain will shutter approximately 30 to 40 restaurants.
Applebee's and IHOP together have more than 3,700 restaurants in 18 countries.
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