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DineEquity is hunting for a third concept

The parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s is shopping for a third concept, likely in the limited-service sector, Restaurant Business reports.

The ideal acquisition candidate would be a smaller enterprise that operates outside of family and casual dining, the markets served by IHOP and Applebee’s, respectively, explained Julie Stewart, the CEO of the two brands' franchisor, DineEquity.

She also noted that the concept would have to be manageable by current franchisees of IHOP and Applebee’s. “It's really all about our franchisees being able to develop it,” Stewart said.

A viable candidate would present long-term growth potential both domestically and abroad, and would enable DineEquity to take advantage of its current infrascture, she explained.

Stewart revealed the diversification plan in a conference call with stock analysts on Tuesday. She stressed that the look for an investment candidates is just beginning, and that no brands are currently within DineEquity’s sights.

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