Plans For Applebee’s Closings in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

The perennial chain, owned by Dine Brands Global, has seen its sister company, IHOP, face well-publicized business challenges in 2022. Have those challenges impacted Applebee’s core business, or vice-versa?

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets:, Nation’s Restaurant News,,,,,, and,


Applebee’s, founded in 1980, is a sister company to IHOP, which reportedly has encountered a steep downturn in business since the height of the pandemic. According to the former entity’s Wikipedia page: On July 16, 2007, IHOP Corp. announced that it agreed to buy Applebee's International for about $2.1 billion. Applebee's shareholders would receive $25.50 in cash per share, representing a 4.6% premium to the closing price on July 13, 2007. The acquisition was completed on November 29, 2007, after which IHOP Corp. was renamed DineEquity. The combined company became the largest full-service restaurant company in the world, with more than 3,250 locations. A major goal for the new ownership was to revitalize the chain, as well as shift towards a franchise model for the majority of its locations.

Per Nation’s Restaurant News, DineEquity changed its name to Dine Brands Global in 2018. As of May 23, 2022, counts 1587 U.S. Applebee's locations in the U.S., and the state with the most number of Applebee's locations is California with 107. Also according to, as of May 24, 2022, 1666 IHOP locations operate in the U.S. with the majority of locations also in California with 221. On their website, Dine Brands Global presently claims over 3431 locations in 16 countries and two U.S. territories for both restaurants collectively.

In December, 2021, updated a previously-published piece, “The Real Reason Why IHOP is Disappearing Across the Country,” which directly addressed business concerns regarding both entities.

As excerpted from the article: Applebee's has been struggling for quite some time, closing more stores than IHOP. While Applebee's has turned it around at the moment by following a policy of catering to stress eaters and people who want to get hammered on the cheap, the simple fact of the matter is that if Applebee's sinks, IHOP is being dragged down with it. Basically, even if IHOP does everything right, it might ultimately be taken down by your lack of interest in a Dollarita.

Some of the information available online is contradictory, however, as other articles conclude both companies are in danger individually. See here for article, “Applebee’s And IHOP Are Closing Hundreds Of Restaurants As Millennials Ditch The Struggling Chains,” and here for article, “ “The Truth Behind Rumors of Applebee’s Closing.”

From the latter piece: Sales at IHOP went down a whopping 37.6%, while Applebee's bottomed out at around 19%. Applebee's may be seeing some success, but IHOP continues to struggle in 2022. After closing nearly 100 restaurants in 2020 due to financial difficulties, IHOP shows almost no signs of improvement.

In each case, both the pandemic and lack of a “cool” factor, according to the above-linked and articles, has turned away millennials — a formerly sizable demographic — from these older chains.

Let us explore further.

Applebee’s, 2022

A recent piece (May 12, 2022), “Dine Brands Global, Inc. Announces Second Quarter 2022 Dividend,” shares more optimistic news: Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill + Bar® and IHOP® restaurants, today announced that its Board of Directors declared and approved an 11% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $0.51 per share of common stock. The dividend will be payable on July 8, 2022, to the Company’s stockholders of record at the close of business on June 20, 2022.

A March, 2022 article from Nation’s Restaurant News, “Dine Brands Inc. Says Pandemic Made Applebee’s and IHOP Stronger,” and quoted CEO John Peyton, who said tech investments are paying off and their holdings are no longer wholly dependent on brick and mortar locations.

From the article: Over the past five years, Applebee’s made the strategic decision to close about 300 underperforming units, a process that was completed in fiscal 2021, Peyton said in an interview with Nation’s Restaurant News following the fourth-quarter earnings report. The chain ended 2021 with 1,578 units in the U.S. Fiscal 2022 will be a transition year, with between five to 15 net fewer Applebee’s locations expected.  But the almost-all-franchised chain will see net unit growth in 2023, Peyton projected, fueled in part by revenue from innovations that didn’t exist a few years ago, like virtual concepts, ghost kitchen and more drive-thru pickup lanes where they can be added.

The official word from the company represents closings will continue, but on a strategic basis.


Applebee’s is not going out of business, but individual locations may well continue to close per the company’s CEO. And, where goes Applebee’s will likely also go its sister company.

A follow-up article on IHOP’s current business is forthcoming.

For now, each company continues to face business challenges but they appear to be stabilizing.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA

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