An Applebee’s franchisee has partially opened the first Applebee’s-IHOP combo unit. It could also be the last.
The store, a project of Livonia, Mich.-based Team Schostak Family Restaurants, has been under development for more than two years. It measures nearly 12,000 square feet and sports 300 seats, with about 120 people on the payroll.
Signature menu items from both concepts will be offered at the location, which is opening in phases. Patrons have been able to order IHOP’s buttermilk pancakes and French toast for about two weeks now, while the Applebee’s component will not be fully operational until June 26.
The hybrid also includes a barista bar, a feature unique to the pair.
Pairing the two concepts will enable Schostak to serve the location’s diverse clientele throughout the day, the company said in a statement. The combo store is located near Detroit’s Renaissance Center, a hub of downtown activity. Schostak says the potential customer base extends to hotel guests, office workers, after-work revelers, groups and families.
A spokesperson for Dine Brands Global, the franchisor of Applebee’s and IHOP, described the concept as “hyper-local to the Detroit market,” suggesting it might not be feasible for duplication.
“This is a unique concept and there are no additional developments planned,” she told Restaurant Business.
Schostak operates about 65 franchised Applebee’s units in Michigan. The IHOP component of the new combo store is its sole outlet of that chain.
In addition, Schostak owns and operates the Olga’s Kitchen, the 27-unit Mediterranean quick-service chain, and is a franchisee of MODod Pizza and Del Taco. It operates about 110 restaurants in total.