On most days franchise owners of IHOP Restaurants and Applebee’s Bar & Grill can be found in restaurants across the nation taking care of guests. On Wednesday they will gather, along with employees of DineEquity, Inc., the brands’ parent company, in Washington to share their perspective with legislators. Key issues for discussion include job creation, card check, immigration and health care reform.

With over 250,000 employees system-wide and more than 70 new IHOP and Applebee’s restaurants opened in 2009, DineEquity brands have prospered even during the recent difficult economy. The purpose of bringing such a large group to Washington is to ensure elected officials understand how current legislation can either propel or derail continued job growth.

“Our brands create opportunity for small business owners through franchising, and franchising provides us with a significant competitive advantage as demonstrated by the entrepreneurial spirit of our franchise owners,” commented Julia Stewart, chairman and chief executive officer, DineEquity, Inc. “This advantage is clear when it comes to advocacy, as we believe our franchisees represent the opinions and concerns of entrepreneurs across the nation.”

Stewart continued, “Our franchisees are generating jobs, and on Wednesday over 200 of them will visit Capitol Hill to provide our legislators with precise details how employer-mandated health care or the passage of card check will grind job creation to a halt.”

Franklin Carson, CEO, Casual Restaurant Concepts, Inc., a 50-restaurant Applebee’s franchisee, and Chairman of the Franchise Business Council, an advisory board to Applebee’s, stated, “Visiting with my elected officials is incredibly valuable; I’m able to explain how a piece of legislation will impact the restaurants I own.”

“Many policies that are being considered will affect my business,” stated Peter DeGast, an IHOP franchisee, and chairman of the Board of Advisors, an advisory board to IHOP. “I believe that what I share represents the beliefs of my peers and business people across the nation.”

DineEquity lobbying day is one element of a strategic government affairs outreach plan that shares the perspective and opinions of the Company, and its franchisees with elected officials.

Marketwire at CNNMoney.com