Up to 160 Applebee’s and IHOPs could close

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LOS ANGELES — The parent of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants said Thursday that as many as 160 locations could close throughout this fiscal year, though the company also plans to open dozens of new restaurants.

DineEquity Inc. of Glendale, Calif., revised expectations for the full fiscal year during its quarterly earnings call, saying that 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants could close, compared with previous expectations that 40 to 60 locations could shut down. These closures will be determined based on criteria such as store profitability, operational results and “brand quality standards.”

At the same time, DineEquity said it expected to open 20 to 30 new Applebee’s restaurants across the globe, most in international locations. In a best-case scenario, the net number of Applebee’s closures could be 75.

On the IHOP side, DineEquity said closures could range between 20 and 25 restaurants, while the company expects to open 80 to 95 new ones, most of which will be in the U.S.

The company said the exact locations for closures have not been determined.

John Cywinski, Applebee’s president, said the brand will be “aggressive” on restaurant closures. Most will be older restaurants in less-busy areas and restaurants that have performed worse than expected.