Applebee’s and IHOPs Close Due to Lack of Millennials

Traditional chains that fail to address shifting consumer tastes—particularly toward plant-based options—are forced to shutter while those that adapt, such as TGI Fridays, continue to thrive.

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Restaurant group Dine Brands Global recently announced that it would close several locations of two of its restaurant brands due to their inability to attract millennial consumers. The group plans to close 60 to 80 locations of Applebee’s and 30 to 40 locations of International House of Pancakes (IHOP) this year. “So many of these brands are going to have a really hard time because the core of what they stand for is going to be hard to redefine,” Ted Nelson, CEO of consulting firm Mechanica, told media outlet Ad Week. “Reinvention is the key.” In a bid to attract millennial consumers—who are the driving demographic behind the boom in the North American vegan population—competing chain TGI Fridays added the vegan Beyond Burger to 465 locations last year, and continues to draw new customers by joining the Meatless Monday campaign to promote its new plant-based options.