This company shows an equal bias for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. DineEquity is one of the leading chain restaurant companies in the US with two flagship concepts, IHOP (the International House of Pancakes) and Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar (operated through subsidiary Applebee's Services). The #3 family-style diner chain behind Denny's and Waffle House, IHOP has about 1,500 mostly franchised restaurants that are open 24 hours a day. The chain is best known for its breakfast menu, but it also offers standard family fare for lunch and dinner. Applebee's is the #1 casual-dining chain, with about 2,000 locations in the US and about 20 other countries, offering a wide variety of appetizers and entrees.
DineEquity operates in 18 countries. Expansion plans call for new locations in the Middle East in countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt.
The company relocated its corporate headquarters in the fall of 2011. The headquarters, known as the "Restaurant Support Center" (RSC), is located in the Kansas City area.
The company operates in four segments: franchise operations, company restaurant operations, rental operations, and financing operations for its two distinct restaurant concepts: Applebee's and IHOP. In total, DineEquity operates more than 3,500 restaurants.
Sales and Marketing
DineEquity is equally committed to maintaining a steady hand on its marketing and menu development efforts as it is to franchising.
Like its rivals in the casual dining business, the company invests heavily in advertising to promote its chains as distinct options for families that are dining out, but it takes different marketing approaches for its two concepts.
IHOP relies primarily on discounted value pricing and limited-time offers (such as its Free Pancake Giveaway) to drive traffic to its restaurants.
Applebee's, meanwhile, focuses its efforts on new menu items and special price offers to attract attention away from such brands as Chili's (owned by Brinker International) and T.G.I. Friday's (Carlson Restaurants Worldwide).
The company's revenue decreased by 19% in fiscal 2011 compared to fiscal 2010. The decline in revenue was primarily attributable to the refranchising of company-operated Applebee's restaurants.
IHOP domestic system-wide sales were slightly down (-2%) in 2011, while sales at Applebee's system-wide domestic locations increased moderately (2%).
DineEquity has seen a downward trend in total revenue in recent years. The company reported $1.075 billion in revenue for 2011, down from $1.3 billion in 2010 and $1.4 billion in 2009.
DineEquity is focused primarily on franchising to oversee its wide-ranging eatery chains. Licensing its brands and other intellectual property to local operators generates a steady stream of royalties and franchising fees and it helps insulate the company from the ebbs and flows of the dining business.
The company's IHOP chain includes just a dozen corporate-run locations used mostly for testing and training. DineEquity still owns some Applebee's restaurants, but the company is slowly selling most of those units to new and existing franchisees with the goal of franchising 98% of its restaurants.
In 2011 the company refranchised 132 Applebee's company-operated restaurants and opened 58 new franchised IHOP restaurants worldwide.
That same year DineEquity inked franchise agreement to expand the international scope of IHOP's system by 40 units in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, and Egypt.
Southeastern Asset Management, Inc. owns more than 16% of the company. – less