The Amarillo Applebee’s locations are safe, and there is no indication that the city’s IHOP locations are shuttering as the parent company of both restaurants announced hundreds of closures last week.
DineEquity, the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP, said in a news release earlier this week that it plans to close up to 160 restaurants — a much higher estimate than previously provided. The firm said 105 to 135 Applebee’s restaurants will close, up from the 40 to 60 it said would close in the first quarter. Also on the chopping block are an estimated 20 to 25 IHOP sites, up from about 18.
The company didn’t release a list of locations slated to close.
The closures aren’t a significant number to DineEquity, which operates more than 3,700 Applebee’s and IHOP locations in 18 countries. DineEquity said it will open 125 restaurants globally between the two brands in new locations despite the planned closures.
Zachary Evans, manager at the Applebee’s at 2810 S. Soncy Road, said local patrons of the location — which he said has been there nearly 23 years — need not fear.
RMH Franchise acquired several Applebee’s locations in 2012, including the Soncy restaurant and the one at 5360 W. Amarillo Blvd., and Evans said many customers have asked about the status of the restaurant because they would hate to see it go.
“We’re with RMH Franchise, a completely separate entity than DineEquity, so there’s nothing to worry about at all,” he said.
A manager at the IHOP location at 2100 S. Western St. said they have not been told the location is closing and declined to comment further. There is also an IHOP location at 1711 E. Interstate 40.
Some restaurant patrons on Saturday said the thought of seeing the eateries leave Amarillo did not sit well with them.
Acie Chamberlain said she enjoys the Applebee’s on Soncy Road because of the surrounding shopping options.
“We eat here every time we come here (from Hartley),” she said. “They have good food. I wouldn’t like it if they closed. I would miss their oriental chicken salad.”
Chamberlain added if they location did close, she would like to see a Big K-Mart in its place.
Jerry Crowell from Groom said he prefers a dining experience opposed to fast food, and Applebee’s satisfies his criteria.
“I would hate to see it close,” he said. “We’ve eaten here several times.”
Michael Self said he would be “upset” to find out IHOP is leaving Amarillo.
“I love the atmosphere,” he said. “I usually come here at night time with my buds. We come here, enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about our day. We have some young adolescent conversations.”
Amanda Mayes said she would be hit hard by an IHOP departure.
“It would be depressing,” she said. “This is an every weekend thing for us. I love the variety of the foods you can order anytime of the day and they’re family oriented.”