Glendale-based DineEquity Inc., the parent of the IHOP and Applebee’s restaurants, on Thursday reported a continued drop in the number of customers at both chains and warned that the rising price of food staples may make for a challenging 2011.
While the company still managed to turn a $9 million profit for 2010, DineEquity’s $299 million in fourth- quarter revenue was down 16% from $355 million during the same period a year earlier. The company also reported a net loss of $58 million for the quarter, compared to a $48-million loss in the last quarter of 2009. Executives attributed the loss to aggressive debt repayment and refinancing.
Like Nestle, the food giant with North American headquarters a few blocks from DineEquity’s Brand Boulevard office, DineEquity expects a spike in cost for staples, including coffee, dairy products and seafood.