What is Applebee's parent company?Applebee’s is owned and operated by Dine Brands Global, one of the world’s largest full-service dining companies. The California-based powerhouse, previously known as DineEquity, franchises both Applebee’s and its sister brand International House of Pancakes (IHOP). In 2020, Dine Brands Global reported total assets of 2.07 billion U.S. dollars and an annual net loss of 103.99 million U.S. dollars. While Dine Brands Global revenue figures grew in 2019 after several years of decline, it could not match the revenue that was generated a decade earlier, when Applebee’s first merged with IHOP. According to Dine Brands' annual reports, Applebee’s franchise restaurants sales reached 2.99 billion U.S. dollars in 2020, down from 3.95 billion the year prior.
How has the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacted Applebee's?With overall sales figures declining, many of Applebee’s branches were forced to shut down in recent years. In 2020, the total number of Applebee’s restaurants operated worldwide, fell to 1,711, a net reduction of 76 units compared to the previous year. The franchise reported closures across most of its international locations in 2020, the most drastic cut being witnessed in Mexico, one of Applebee’s key target markets outside of the U.S. Back home, the number of Applebee's restaurants in the U.S. fell to 1,600 units in 2020, marking the sixth consecutive year of nationwide closures.
To appeal to younger audiences and take advantage of their purchasing power, Applebee’s introduced technological features like server tablets, tableside payments, and Wi-Fi across most locations. The company also implemented online ordering and delivery services. As a result, Applebee’s was able to respond to the early stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the U.S., by boosting its curbside pickup and other off-premise sales while most of its dining rooms remained closed.