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Why Fuzzy's Taco Shop is the perfect target for Dine Brands

How the deal went down, according to Dine CEO John Peyton


Welcome to First Bite, a Nation’s Restaurant News podcast, your daily source of news from NRN hosted by Holly Petre.

Today, we’re talking about Dine Brands' acquisition of Fuzzy's Taco Shop.

In the casual dining segment, it doesn’t get more legacy than Dine Brands Global. The company owns both IHOP, established in 1958, and Applebee’s, founded in 1980.

So, the company’s acquisition of 19-year-old fast casual concept Fuzzy’s Taco Shop today may seem a little out of place on paper. But that’s hardly the case. According to Dine Brands CEO John Peyton, the addition of Fuzzy’s perfectly fits the company’s strategy to accelerate its growth over the long term.

Fuzzy’s should indeed contribute to Dine Brands’ long-term growth. The Mexican fast casual brand generated approximately $230 million in systemwide sales in 2022 and currently includes nearly 140 units across 18 states, with more than 125 units in the pipeline. Peyton said there is significant potential to take Fuzzy’s from a regional to a national brand and it plans to do so through its heavily (98%) franchised model. That model is what Peyton called the “sweet spot,” for the acquisition.

Hear more on this deep dive from Alicia Kelso.

Plus, catch up on all the top news of the day with our daily news recap at the beginning of each episode.

Be sure to subscribe to First Bite wherever you get your podcasts or on Spotify, or Apple Podcasts.

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