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IHOP, Applebee's to pair up

ihop exterior

The franchisor of Applebee’s and IHOP has given a franchisee the go-ahead to open a restaurant that will combine the two brands for the first time into one operation.

The dual-branded establishment will pair IHOP’s breakfast-focused menu with Applebee’s lunch and dinner bills of fare. The announcement from the two brands’ franchisor, DineEquity, also suggests that a bar, a signature feature of Applebee’s, will be part of the two-in-one concept. 

The restaurant, in Detroit, will encompass nearly 12,000 square feet and will seat 300, DineEquity said. Construction is slated to begin in April.

The facility will be run by Livonia, Mich.-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants, a franchisee of Applebee’s, Del Taco and Mod Pizza. The unit will be Schostak’s first franchise deal with IHOP.

Through a related company, Schostak owns the Olga’s cafe brand, which it bought out of bankruptcy last year.

The announcement of the two-in-one restaurant comes as Applebee’s is searching for a third concept that it could franchise. CEO Julia Stewart has suggested that a startup or acquisition would likely compete in the fast-casual market.

DineEquity has been struggling to right its Applebee’s brand, which it acquired. Among the most ambitious efforts was the installation of grills and a marketing focus on steaks.

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