IHOP and Applebee’s parent company Dine Brands Global Inc. in Glendale announced on Tuesday the selection of John Peyton as its next chief executive. Peyton will replace current chief executive Steve Joyce effective Jan. 4.Peyton comes from the lodging industry, where he has more than two decades of experience managing hotel and real estate franchises. He most recently served as chief executive of Realogy Franchise Group in Madison, N.J., which franchises brands including Century 21, Sothebys International Realty, Coldwell Banker, Corcoran Group and Better Homes and Gardens. Before that, he spent 17 years with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, including as chief marketing officer and chief operations officer of the North America hotel division. He joined Realogy in 2016 after Starwood was acquired by Marriott International.Dine Brands Chairman Richard Dahl said in a statement: “John’s extensive background working in the hospitality industry enables him to provide outstanding leadership and guidance as Dine Brands continues to accelerate long-term growth.”According to a report filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dine Brands will pay Peyton a starting annual salary of $1 million plus stock awards.“I am honored to take on this new role to spearhead Dine’s mission and drive shareholder value of the world’s most-loved restaurant brands,” Peyton said in a statement.Dine Brands’ board revealed in May that it would not renew Joyce’s contract past February 2021. The company did not give a reason for the non-renewal.“We appreciate Steve’s considerable contributions to Dine Brands during a critical period for the company accentuated by this current crisis,” Dahl said in a statement in May.Joyce was hired in September 2017 to help turn around the company’s struggling Applebee’s segment. He too came from the hospitality industry, having previously served as chief executive at Choice Hotels.
He was successful with Dine Brands, steering Applebee’s to its highest quarterly domestic sales increase in 2018, a year when Dine’s stock climbed more than 50 percent.Then came the coronavirus pandemic, which devastated the casual sit-down dining industry and forced restaurants to subsist on take-out and delivery sales alone. In that regard, IHOP and Applebee’s struggled even more than competitors, with same-store sales dropping 64 percent and 75 percent, respectively, in April. Applebee’s has since bounced back, and in the third quarter recorded $806 million in sales, down about 17 percent from $967 million last year.
IHOP hasn’t fared quite as well, posting third quarter sales of $555 million, down more than 34 percent from $845 million in the same period last year.