The $2.1 billion acquisition of Applebee’s by IHOP probably didn’t set too many New York foodie hearts aflutter. The two restaurants are largely interchangeable to the eyes of Manhattan feinschmeckers, and even their most loyal customers in Rego Park and elsewhere think of them mostly as feeding stations, or, in the case of Applebee’s, places to pick up used-carpet salesmen. But there’s more to both companies than meets the eye, with two different business models and even two different corporate cultures. Our crack staff analyzes the deal at Daily Intel.
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