What is in this article?:
Each year, the editors at Nation’s Restaurant News research, discuss and create a list of key executives we’re eagerly watching as the year unfolds. Meet the class of 2014.
Coming soon: The Power List. Look for NRN's definitive list of the 50 most powerful people in the restaurant industry on nrn.com and in the Jan. 27 issue of NRN.
Chairman and chief executive, DineEquity Inc.
Operating the largest casual-dining and family-dining chains — both of which have struggled at times with negative sales — puts DineEquity in a party of one. The company’s chains together boast about 3,600 units, and while legacy brands, they are making some bold moves into new phases of technology and menu development.
Applebee’s, for example, is rolling out the use of touch-screen tablets to its 1,865 U.S. restaurants next year. The yearlong rollout is scheduled to begin in March and will include about 100,000 tabletop tablets.
At IHOP, a menu redesign led to the chain’s largest same-store sales increase in more than five years as guests chose to order more appetizers and higher-priced dishes. For the Sept. 30-ended third quarter, same-store sales for the once-struggling family-dining chain rose 3.6 percent, the largest increase since the 3.7-percent climb recorded during the first quarter of 2008.