Washington weathers Applebee’s and IHOP purge — for now

The Peninsula Gateway

More than 100 Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants are set to close this year. That doesn’t include locations in the South Sound — at least for now.

DineEquity, parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar and IHOP, announced last week it intended to close as many as 160 of the restaurants across the country by the end of the year.

The Applebee’s restaurants that are closing include locations with “lease expirations and under-performing restaurants,” said DineEquity spokesman Patrick Lenow.

The company did not release a list of restaurants it intends to close.

So far this year, 57 Applebee’s have closed across the country, Lenow said. Through June, none of those closures has been in Washington State.

Altogether this year, he said, the company expects to close 105 to 135 of its 1,968 Applebee’s restaurants worldwide. The chain is opening restaurants too. About 20 to 30 more Applebee’s will open this year, he said.

About 20 to 25 IHOP locations will close this year, with 80 to 90 franchise opening during that period, Lenow said.

Another group owns several Applebee’s franchised restaurants, and those aren’t going anywhere. Many of those are in Washington State.

Apple American Group owns 42 Applebee’s locations in the state, and they will not be closing.

“Apple American Group is supported by the strong financial footing of Flynn Restaurant Group and has no plans to close any restaurants at this time,” chairman and CEO Greg Flynn of Flynn Restaurant Group said in an emailed statement.

Those in the South Sound that will not close include Tacoma, Puyallup, Lakewood, University Place, Gig Harbor, Bonney Lake, Auburn, Olympia, Lacey and Federal Way.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542, @KateReports