https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/ihop-closing-nearly-100-locations

Indoor dining restrictions might be making it harder for pancakes to sell like hotcakes during the pandemic.

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IHOP will close nearly 100 restaurants in the next six months, the pancake house and breakfast chain’s parent company, Dine Brands Global, revealed in its third-quarter earnings report Wednesday.

IHOP could close nearly 100 restaurants in the next six months. (iStock)

“We’re confident we will eventually replace these severely underperforming restaurants with better-performing restaurants,” IHOP president Jay Johns said Wednesday on a call with investors.

Third-quarter sales ending in September dropped 18.7% to $176.6 million from $217.4 million last year, Dine Brands Global said. As of September 30, out of 1,683 domestic IHOP restaurants,1,425 were open for in-restaurant dining,

The Glendale, Calif-based company, known for its breakfast feasts of pancakes, omelets and stuffed French toast, has sought to ramp up its take-out and delivery business due to closures and capacity restrictions in dining rooms as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. IHOP’s online-ordering sales accounted for 22% of total sales for the third quarter of 2020, down from 34.7% of total sales for the second quarter.

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A spokesperson for IHOP on Thursday said the chain’s take-out business is continuing to see improvement while brick-and-mortar closures are a result of “a restaurant being in a lapsed trade area — where once vibrant traffic characteristics are no longer present — or as a result of leases expiring.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DIN DINE BRANDS GLOBAL 53.46 -2.47 -4.42%

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“We are confident that we will eventually replace these severely underperforming locations with better performing restaurants that have volumes closer to pre-COVID levels,” a spokesperson for Dine Brands Global said in a statement to FOX Business.

“These closures will allow us to remain focused on continuing to close the gap on sales, as well as focus on key priorities including expanding off-premise, ensuring restaurant safety and providing compelling value and innovation,” the spokesperson said.

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Dine Brands Global, which also owns Applebee’s, further anticipates around 15 of the chain’s restaurants in the U.S. will close in the fourth quarter as a result of downsizing.

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