“We are investing in the empowerment of our brands by improving overall franchisee financial health, closing underperforming restaurants and enhancing the supply chain,” said board chair and interim CEO Richard J. Dahl in a statement.
The company named Stephen Joyce as its new chief executive officer, replacing Julia Stewart, who resigned in February.
On an earnings conference call Thursday, Applebee’s President John C. Cywinski outlined the reasons for the store closings:
The casual-dining segment has been under pressure from fast-casual rivals such as Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill, which have emphasized their food as more healthful options to fast-food competitors such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s.
Black Box Intelligence, a unit of TDn2K, which provides financial and market data for the restaurant industry, said overall same-store sales fell 1% in June and 1% for the second quarter.
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