Applebee’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill plans to shutter as many as 135 of its locations before the end of fiscal 2017, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Parent company DineEquity made the announcement in the wake of a 6.2 percent decrease in same-store sales for the brand.
Applebee’s brand president, John Cywinkski, told investors in a conference call on August 10 that these closures would have a limited impact on the company’s bottom line and that the locations expected to close are “underperforming and perhaps brand-damaging restaurants.”
Cywinski attributed much of the brand’s slide to misguided efforts to win over millennials, some of which he feels weakened the restaurant’s position among older consumers.
DineEquity may also close up to 25 of its IHOP restaurants. The brand suffered a 2.6 percent decrease in same-store sales for the quarter, but DineEquity considers the brand to be healthy and is currently testing a delivery option alongside an IHOP mobile application.
If you’re overseas, though, don’t fear. The Los Angeles Times reported that DineEquity still plans open 20 to 30 new Applebee’s locations, mostly internationally. Boneless wings and flapjacks are here to stay (as long as Applebee’s doesn’t serve hard root beer to children again).