Los Angeles Business Journal

Largest IHOP Franchisee Buys Applebee's Locations

By Deborah Crowe Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summit Restaurant Group LLC, the nation’s largest IHOP franchisee, on Thursday said that an affiliate had acquired 50 franchised Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants in Florida and the rights to develop additional locations.

Summit Restaurant Group, based in suburban Kansas City, Mo., said that its Neighborhood Restaurant Partners Florida LLC has acquired the assets and development rights of Casual Restaurant Concepts Inc and CRC II LLC, which owned Applebee's restaurants in Tampa and Orlando. DineEquity Inc. of Glendale owns both the Applebee's and IHOP Restaurants chains.

Summit Restaurant Group and Neighborhood Restaurant Partners are both affiliates of Argonne Capital Group, LLC of Atlanta. This acquisition raises Argonne's combined holdings of Applebee's and IHOP restaurants to 352 locations.

"Casual Restaurant Concepts and its leader, Franklin Carson, are stellar operators and we look forward to extending their proud legacy even further by maximizing the potential of these existing Applebee's restaurants and developing additional locations," said Michael Klump, Argonne founder and president, in a statement.

The ownership change comes as DineEquity continues to convert from a company-operated restaurant model to a franchisor. On Tuesday it announced the sale of 33 company-operated Applebee's restaurants in the Midwest to American Franchise Capital LLC of Greenwich, Conn.

DineEquity shares on Thursday were up 8 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $47.93 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.