Applebee’s and IHOP to grow with ghost kitchens

The newly appointed CEO of Dine Brands Global since January 2021, John Peyton is excited about the expansion plans for the brand and the string of promotions to support his C-suite. He is set to help Applebee’s and IHOP to grow with ghost kitchens. Dine Brands is the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP.

“It’s all about broadening the team and making it more diverse,” Peyton said. “I really believe in the wisdom of the crowd.”

Before Dine Brands, Peyton served as president and CEO of the Realogy Franchise Group, and previously held operations and marketing roles for 18 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide—the parent company of brands such as Sheraton, Westin and W Hotels—that was acquired by Marriott International in 2016.

“It was at Starwood that I fell in love with hospitality and franchising,” he said. “…I got deep experience on both the operations and the brand side, which was the perfect combination to come to Dine…when I got the call last summer to consider joining Dine as CEO, I know it’s cliché, but they had me at hello. After four years of learning residential real estate, I wanted to come back to hospitality, and restaurants are a super close cousin of hotels.”

The concept of Ghost kitchens

Apart from sales from existing stores, and new restaurants, Peyton also proposes to explore new sources of revenue like ghost kitchens. There are five Applebee’s ghost kitchens being launched and managed by franchisees in the U.S., for example, as well as ghost kitchens in the works in the Middle East by franchisees of both brands.

“There are others still in development, and we’re working closely with franchisees to prove out the concept and share the best practices so that other franchisees can take advantage of it, and so we have the opportunity to do the same as well,” Peyton said. “What I like about ghost kitchens, and same with virtual brands, is that it’s a low-risk, low-capital investment way to expand brands into new markets.”

The success of the ghost kitchens, will pave way for a stronger launch of brick and mortar restaurant in a locations. It could also help build demand in a certain market. “so if we do open brick and mortars, they open strong and can scale quickly. It’s a great vehicle for both objectives,” Peyton added.

“What we all learned, franchisees and team members at IHOP and Applebee’s during the last 15 months, was how to be resilient and flexible, and that all of our team members and franchisees are stronger because of the last 15 months,” Peyton said.

Source: Franchise Times

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