DineEquity, Inc., the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants, announced the implementation of a strategic plan designed to accelerate growth in its core brands and speed development of traditional and non-traditional locations.
As part of the plan, DineEquity will consolidate many core restaurant and franchisee support functions at its Glendale, California, location. The move is intended to promote the organization's speed to market and cross-functional collaboration.
"This move best positions the company to act as a nimble, effective, and efficient force for the future," says Julia A. Stewart, chairman and chief executive officer of DineEquity. "Consolidating most brand-centric, franchisee and consumer facing aspects of Applebee's is an important step in that direction. While there will be some costs associated with this, we remain fully committed to returning substantially all of our free cash flow to shareholders."
Steven R. Layt, president of Applebee's International, has chosen not to relocate to California and has resigned from the company effective tomorrow. Stewart will serve as interim president of Applebee's, in addition to her current responsibilities.