The parent of the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands is looking to grow the concepts overseas.
Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity Inc. announced on Thursday the appointment of Daniel del Olmo as president of a newly created international division that will focus on development of both the 1,593-unit IHOP and 2,009-unit Applebee’s brands outside of the U.S.
Both brands had international development staff individually, which will now be consolidated under del Olmo’s leadership, the company said.
Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s chair and chief executive, said the company aims to capitalize on every opportunity to help franchisees succeed and grow.
“The success of all our franchisees across the globe is our mission, and the key to the worldwide success and growth of DineEquity is a focus on developing each brand’s unique presence around the world,” she said. “In Daniel, we have found a tremendous leader who has a track record of success.”
Del Olmo most recently served as senior vice president and managing director of Wyndham Hotel Group for Wyndham Worldwide, where he worked on international growth. Prior experience included international work with Amadeus Global Travel Distribution and Melia Hotels International.
Applebee’s and IHOP operate in 19 countries, but since neither brand has a huge global footprint there is room for growth. About 201 of the more than 3,600 restaurants between the two brands are international, including 51 IHOP and 150 Applebee’s.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News International Top 25 research, IHOP had systemwide sales from outside the U.S. of $44.4 million as of the end of fiscal 2012, with a unit-count estimate of 44 franchised or licensed locations. The family-dining chain had 36 international locations at the end of fiscal 2011 and 40 at the end of fiscal 2010.
Applebee’s had systemwide sales outside the U.S. of $269 million for fiscal 2012 with an estimated 149 locations, all franchised, according to the Top 25 report. The casual-dining chain’s international unit count was flat over the prior two years.