GLENDALE, Calif. - Sept. 23, 2015 // PRNewswire // - Julia Stewart, chairman and CEO of DineEquity, Inc., has been named the 2015 Operator of the Year by Nation's Restaurant News. The award, presented Monday, September 21 at the annual Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference in Dallas, Texas, recognizes an individual in the restaurant industry whose career is marked by excellent leadership skills, strong company performance, and a history of giving back.
"The restaurant industry is very special for many reasons," Stewart said. "It not only provides incredible opportunity it also offers the tools and resources for tremendous personal growth. As one of the largest private employers, restaurants are a cornerstone of the economy; it's humbling to receive this award in such an incredible industry."
After returning to IHOP as President in 2001, Stewart led the breakfast brand's purchase of Applebee's® Grill and Bar in 2007, resulting in the formation of DineEquity, Inc. Since the acquisition and under Stewart's leadership, both the IHOP and Applebee's brands have accomplished the lofty goals established at the time of the acquisition.
"I am accepting this award not for myself, but for each and every devoted team member in the restaurants, as well as our committed franchisees and support center team," Stewart added. "Their hard work, love of our brands, and dedication to exceeding guest expectations day after day, has earned the considerable recognition that IHOP, Applebee's and DineEquity receive today, and I thank everyone for their hard work in making this possible."
The Operator of the Year award is regarded as among most sought-after honors, as its recipients are among the most recognized and highly respected individuals in the restaurant industry. Voters, consisting of restaurant industry peers, selected between five nominees for the Operator of the Year Award, which has been given out since 1971.
Based in Glendale, California, DineEquity, Inc., through its subsidiaries, franchises and operates restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands. With more than 3,600 restaurants combined in 18 countries and over 400 franchisees, DineEquity is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on DineEquity, visit the Company's Web site located at www.dineequity.com.
Statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by words such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "plan" and other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied in such statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: the effect of general economic conditions; the Company's indebtedness; risk of future impairment charges; trading volatility and the price of the Company's common stock; the Company's results in any given period differing from guidance provided to the public; the highly competitive nature of the restaurant business; the Company's business strategy failing to achieve anticipated results; risks associated with the restaurant industry; risks associated with locations of current and future restaurants; rising costs for food commodities and utilities; shortages or interruptions in the supply or delivery of food; ineffective marketing and guest relationship initiatives and use of social media; changing health or dietary preferences; our engagement in business in foreign markets; harm to our brands' reputation; litigation; fourth-party claims with respect to intellectual property assets; environmental liability; liability relating to employees; failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations; failure to effectively implement restaurant development plans; our dependence upon our franchisees; concentration of Applebee's franchised restaurants in a limited number of franchisees; credit risk from IHOP franchisees operating under our previous business model; termination or non-renewal of franchise agreements; franchisees breaching their franchise agreements; insolvency proceedings involving franchisees; changes in the number and quality of franchisees; inability of franchisees to fund capital expenditures; heavy dependence on information technology; the occurrence of cyber incidents or a deficiency in our cybersecurity; failure to execute on a business continuity plan; inability to attract and retain talented employees; risks associated with retail brand initiatives; failure of our internal controls; and other factors discussed from time to time in the Company's Annual and Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q and in the Company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained in this release are made as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE DineEquity, Inc.