DineEquity Inc., the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP, is planning to close up to 160 of the restaurants.

According to a Thursday news release from Dine Equity, 105-135 Applebee’s locations and 20-25 IHOP restaurants will close Previously, the company said it expected to close 40-60 Applebee’s restaurants and 18 IHOP restaurants.

“We are investing in the empowerment of our brands by improving overall franchisee financial health, closing underperforming restaurants and enhancing the supply chain,” Richard J. Dahl, chairman and interim chief executive officer of DineEquity Inc. said. “We are focusing on operations and elevating the guest experience, whether in our restaurants or off-premise.”

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Applebee’s has been struggling the most, with a 7 percent decrease in sales compared with similar restaurants in the first six months of the year, according to the news release. IHOP has had a 2.1 percent decrease for comparable restaurants in the same amount of time.

“We believe 2017 will be a transitional year for Applebee’s and we are making the necessary investments for overall long-term brand health and expect to see improvement over the next year,” Dahl said.

“IHOP remains on solid ground, despite soft sales this quarter. I am optimistic about the growth in both effective franchise restaurants and system-wide sales,” Dahl said. “IHOP is currently rolling out initiatives to address the convenience needs of our guests, which are inclusive of online ordering as well as accelerating tests for delivery and development of an IHOP mobile application. We believe these will create enhanced revenue channels.”

Internationally, DineEquity plans Applebee’s franchisees to “develop between 20 and 30 new restaurants globally, the majority of which are expected to be international openings.” It expects IHOP franchisees to “develop between 80 and 95 restaurants globally, the majority of which are expected to be domestic openings.”

Between the two chains, 125 new restaurants will open.

The specific locations where restaurants will close and be developed are not yet known.

Two iconic American eateries are preparing to shut down over 150 stores (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
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