Almost 340 IHOP restaurants and 264 Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill units have closed since Dec. 31, according to an update from franchisor Dine Brands Global on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dine Brands expects most of the closings to be temporary.
The company also said in the securities filing that it would furlough employees of its corporate support facilities and the 62 company-operated Applebee’s units that remain open, but did not say how many. The temporary leaves will begin Sunday, according to CEO Steve Joyce.
Dine Brands also did not divulge how many domestic restaurants within its two chains have closed. Instead, it stated that 1,401 Applebee’s stores and 1,372 IHOPs remain open. The chains finished 2019 with 1,665 and 1,710 units, respectively, for differences in turn of 264 and 338 units, according to other company announcement.
The franchisor said the 2,773 restaurants that remain in operation have seen growth in their off-premise sales as dining rooms were closed or limited in capacity by state directives. All but 62 of those units are franchised. Dine Brands said it is helping franchisees by deferring royalty, advertising and other fees, along with lease payments and remodel obligations, on a case-by-case basis.
To aid furloughed employees, Dine Brands is providing the workers with medical, dental and vision-care insurance, with the corporation temporarily picking up the staff members’ portion of the coverage costs for up to 90 days "in the event the furloughs last that long," Joyce said. Sick pay is being provided to employees afflicted with COVID-19.
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