DineEquity CEO and Chairwoman Julia Stewart
DineEquity CEO and Chairwoman Julia Stewart - 


DineEquity is the current incarnation of IHOP, which acquired Applebee's in November 2007 and changed its corporate name.

The combined company is one of the largest restaurant chains in the country, ranking third behind Denny's and Waffle House.

With more than 1,900 restaurants in 49 states, Applebee's is the world's largest casual dining brand. Founded in 1980 in Atlanta, Ga., Applebee's provides a casual dining atmosphere. Today, 75 percent of Applebee's restaurants are owned by franchisees.

Adding to the company's strength is IHOP's dominance in the family dining market. Initially a family-owned business in Toluca Lake, Calif., the IHOP name quickly flourished and now boasts over 1,350 locations in the nation, in addition to locations in Canada and Mexico. Now, 99 percent of all IHOP restaurants are franchises.