The drop in gasoline prices across the U.S. might lead to a return of customers to casual diners. That is at least what John Peyton, CEO of Applebee’s and IHOP parent company Dine Brands, predicted in a recent chat with Yahoo Finance.
Dine Brands released its second-quarter results on Tuesday, revealing a slight uptick in same-store sales for both of its leading brands. However, it still wasn’t enough to beat the analyst estimates. Applebee’s same-store sales were up 1.8% versus 2.2% estimated, while IHOP had a 3.6% increase compared to 3.9% expected.
But according to Peyton, the lower gas prices are making the company “cautiously optimistic” about the remainder of the year. The current national average, according to AAA, is $4.033 compared to the $5.03 average in June.
“We know that gas prices do correlate — we do believe that will encourage some of those lower income guests to return to IHOP more frequently and Applebee’s more frequently than they have,” said Peyton.
Dine Brands also reported $237.8 million in revenue compared to an estimated $237.3 million and $1.65 diluted earnings per share vs. $1.64 estimated. Its stock (DIN) is down 1% and closed at $71.56 on Tuesday. The company’s shares are down 7.20% year to date.