Dine Brands Global announced first quarter earnings on Wednesday. The Glendale, California-based company changed its name from DineEquity in February, and at the time, the company revealed a new strategy focused on digital initiatives and global growth.
“I am very pleased to say that our strategy to transition Dine Brands to a growth company is gaining traction,” Dine Brands CEO Steve Joyce said at the start of the company’s earnings call.
“I’d like to put to rest the false news about the death of casual and family dining and the abandonment by millennials of the categories. Our businesses are growing, and approximately half of our guest are under the age of 34.”
Same-store sales were up for both brands owned by the company, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurants. Applebee’s domestic system-wide comparable same-restaurant sales increased 3.3%, and IHOP saw an increase of 1.0% for the first quarter of 2018. This was the second quarter with an increase in same-store sales for Applebee’s. And a return to positive comp sales for IHOP. Both brands outperform restaurants in their respective categories, noted Joyce.
Dine Brands reported a first-quarter net income of $17.1 million, up from $15.6 million from the same quarter last year, an increase of 9.6 percent.
The company reported total revenue decline of 1.7 percent to $188.2 million.
"We are very encouraged by the results for each brand, particularly Applebee’s,” said Joyce. “The brand has made great strides over the past 12 months, and we believe that recent momentum at Applebee’s is sustainable.”
Executives credited new and more focused advertising campaigns and a continuing push towards new technologies for the results. Off-premise business is also growing, said Joyce.
“Remember, Applebee’s was one of the first chains in casual dining to offer car side to go,” he said. “We know that meeting the convenience needs of consumers can influence their dining decisions.”
Applebee's and IHOP together have more than 3,700 restaurants in 18 countries. The company announced closures last quarter, but Joyce predicted a return to unit growth towards the end of 2019.
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