NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's as if the entire "on-the-go" nation has grown obsessed with grabbing extra-large burritos from Chipotle (CMG) and oversized iced coffees from Starbucks (SBUX) , while sidestepping the experience of sitting in a traditional restaurant for a meal.
DineEquity (DIN) , which operates 3,600 IHOP and Applebee's locations in some 19 countries, is doing all it can, however, to entice people back into the traditional restaurant setting. By the looks of the company's financial results, especially compared to those from peers Darden (DRI) , which owns Olive Garden, and Brinker International (EAT) , the operator of Chili's,, efforts by DineEquity management appear to be paying tasty dividends.
IHOP's system-side same-restaurant sales have increased for five consecutive quarters, rising 3.2% in the second quarter, while Applebee's rose a more modest 0.6% but halted three quarters of declines. Darden's Olive Garden has posted four quarters straight of same-restaurant sales declines, capped by a 3.5% fall in the most recent quarter. Chili's had a 2.5% same-restaurant sales increase in the second quarter.
Applebee's has outperformed the same-restaurant sales industry average by 150 basis points in the past five quarters, according to Bloomberg.
However, investors do need to be reminded of the healthy sales being logged at the fast-casual chains, which provide evidence of the robust competitive dynamics in the evolving restaurant industry. Chipotle's second-quarter same-restaurant sales increased 17.1%; Starbucks U.S. rose a solid 7%.