Development deal with DineEquity, Inc. brings IHOP franchise to the Middle East
Kuwait, 20 June 2011 –DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, IHOP Franchise Company, LLC, has signed a multi-restaurant franchise agreement with Alshaya for the development of 40 new IHOP Restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt. The agreement marks the first major expansion of the IHOP chain outside of North America and represents the largest international development deal in the brand’s history. DineEquity is the parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar Restaurants, which comprise over 3,500 restaurants combined.
“This agreement illustrates our commitment to grow our business by leveraging DineEquity’s valuable brands and expanding beyond the markets we have traditionally served,” said Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s Chairman & CEO. “We look forward to working with Alshaya to make IHOP, with its unmistakable offerings and excellent service, a destination of choice for guests throughout the Middle East.”
Jean Birch, IHOP President, added: “The Alshaya agreement marks a major milestone in IHOP’s international development strategy and reflects our commitment to make the brand accessible to more guests. IHOP is an icon in the industry, and we are proud to partner with one of the premier franchisees of international brands in the Middle East to deliver our delicious food and warm service to an entirely new set of guests and their families.“
IHOP will be one of the best known American family dining brands to enter the Middle East when its restaurants begin to open over the next 12 months. Alshaya has a successful history of operating leading international brands in the region and plans to open the 40 IHOP restaurants in the Middle East during the next five years.
“Consumers in the Middle East consistently tell us that they want the great quality and great value that IHOP represents and we are pleased to introduce this leading American dining brand to the region,” said Mohammed Alshaya, Executive Chairman, Alshaya. “The popularity and international appeal of the IHOP brand, combined with our proven track record of operating and delivering exceptional service customized to the local market promises to create a powerful partnership.”
The opening of traditional IHOPs both domestically and abroad is one of the key tactics in fulfilling IHOP's ongoing strategy to expand the brand's accessibility to new and current guests. IHOP opened its milestone 1,500th restaurant late last year, and currently has a franchise development pipeline of more than 300 restaurants. In addition to traditional restaurant development, IHOP has also embarked on other growth opportunities, including the development of express concepts for non-traditional venues such as college and university campuses, as well as licensing its name for select retail products.
For 52 years, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world famous pancakes and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are loved by people of all ages. IHOP offers its guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of March 31, 2011, there were 1,513 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME™ consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at a leading nationwide retailer. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).