Assessing Communications to Build Brands from the Inside-Out

Dine Brands, the parent company of Applebee’s and IHOP, is the largest full-service dining company in the world with more than 3,500 restaurants. The company was formed when Applebee’s was acquired by IHOP. Dine Brands turned to Linhart PR to assess the effectiveness of its systemwide internal communications with team members and franchisees.

Client
Services
Leader & Employee Communications
Insights & Analytics
Industry
Multi-Unit Restaurants
Awards
Dine Brands improves operational performance

CHallenge

Since the acquisition, Dine Brands had focused on energizing its brands, improving operational performance, and maximizing franchise development. Dine Brands leaders knew it was important to engage team members and franchisees to help reach these business goals and navigate necessary changes.

Solution

Dine Brands asked Linhart PR to assess the effectiveness of its systemwide internal communications with team members and franchisees. Linhart PR developed and conducted a multi-phase communications audit that included in-person senior executive interviews, team member focus groups, one-on-one interviews with field team members and franchisees representing both IHOP and Applebee’s brands, and an assessment of existing communications-related surveys and key communications vehicles.

Communications audit

Results

The comprehensive audit revealed actionable recommendations to address change, build culture, and forge connections with team members and franchisees.

  • There were quick wins -- things Dine Brands leaders could implement immediately to improve communications with team members and franchisees, as well as show they listened to and acted upon important feedback
  • The audit also identified solutions to incorporate into Dine Brands' current communications plan and vehicles, including helping team members understand how they collaborate and contribute to overall business goals
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