On the heels of its third year of record international growth and with plans to double its international presence by 2021, DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) announced plans to continue expansion of the iconic IHOP® Restaurants brand with a focus on franchise development of up to 50 restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland. As an innovator of all-day breakfast and a globally recognised brand with robust franchise support services and a unique menu offering, IHOP is targeting this expansion in partnership with U.K.-based World Franchise Associates and Propel Hospitality. Executives from the United States headquarters will be in London July 25 and 26 to meet with prospective franchise partners via pre-arranged appointments.
“Our franchisees drive our business, and it is our job to make sure they are well prepared and equipped so they have every opportunity to be successful,” said Daniel del Olmo, president, international, DineEquity, Inc. “We see the United Kingdom as an important growth opportunity for IHOP, especially given the large appetite for our unparalleled all-day breakfast experience, American lunch and dinner entrees, warm hospitality and – of course – our world-famous pancakes.”
IHOP is specifically focusing on growth in the U.K. and Ireland for a variety of reasons. First, the U.K.’s economic stability is encouraging restaurant operators to consider strong U.S. restaurant systems. The robust restaurant scene in the U.K. includes both local and international brands, with international casual-dining concepts being very popular. Finally, the U.K. has successful and sophisticated franchise operators – ideal partners to bring this beloved brand to the country.
As a restaurant brand that is 100 percent franchisee-owned and -operated, IHOP recognizes that locally owned and operated restaurants provide an unparalleled advantage. In the U.K., IHOP is actively seeking franchisees with multi-unit restaurant experience, real estate development acumen, extensive market knowledge and the ability to recruit and retain strong and passionate management teams.
“Beyond the business experience requirements, we’re also looking for qualified franchisees that align with our brand identity,” said Dan Lecocq, executive director, international development. “They have to embody an entrepreneurial spirit and a high level of commitment to guest service. But most of all, they need to have a passion for the IHOP brand.”
In 2014, DineEquity consolidated the Applebee’s and IHOP international brand teams into one business unit and created a new strategic plan based on consumer insights and franchisee feedback. As a result, the company implemented a 360-degree brand evolution resulting in the implementation of new brand positioning, marketing platform, food and beverage choices, plate presentation, restaurant design and an improved service culture, all of which have been embraced by franchisees.
From 2014 to 2016, 80 new international restaurants opened, resulting in the third consecutive year of record international growth. In addition to these international openings, during this same time, DineEquity has almost tripled the international development pipeline to nearly 200 restaurant commitments. International growth has been largely focused on increasing the number of restaurants in existing markets while also entering new ones, with specific interest in four key regions: the U.K., Ireland, Western and Eastern Europe.
DineEquity’s global presence, through its IHOP and Applebee’s brands, includes all 50 United States, three U.S. territories and 20 other nations. While the international development pipeline is substantive, IHOP is actively seeking qualified entrepreneurs with significant restaurant operations experience, procurement expertise and the capability to introduce brands to new markets. Individuals interested in IHOP franchising opportunities are encouraged to reach out via email to International.Franchising@IHOP.com.
ABOUT DINEEQUITY, INC.
Based in Glendale, California, DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), through its subsidiaries, franchises restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar brand and franchises and operates restaurants under the IHOP brand. With more than 3,700 restaurants combined in 21 countries and U.S. territories and approximately 400 franchisees, DineEquity is one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the world. For more information on DineEquity, visit the company's web site at www.dineequity.com.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES, LLC
For nearly 59 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh, made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items as well as meals under 600 calories. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. Today, there are more than 1,700 IHOP restaurants around the world, including restaurants in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, The Philippines, India and Thailand. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN) and its affiliates
Statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by words such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "plan" and other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied in such statements.
These factors include, but are not limited to: our engagement in business in foreign markets; our ability to identify and recruit qualified franchisees; our franchisees failure to fulfill their contractual development obligations; inability of franchisees to fund capital expenditures; the effect of general economic conditions; the company's indebtedness; risk of future impairment charges; trading volatility and the price of the company’s common stock; the company's results in any given period differing from guidance provided to the public; the highly competitive nature of the restaurant business; the company's business strategy failing to achieve anticipated results; risks associated with the restaurant industry; risks associated with locations of current and future restaurants; rising costs for food commodities and utilities; shortages or interruptions in the supply or delivery of food; ineffective marketing and guest relationship initiatives and use of social media; changing health or dietary preferences; harm to our brands' reputation; litigation; third-party claims with respect to intellectual property assets; environmental liability; liability relating to employees; failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations; failure to effectively implement restaurant development plans; our dependence upon our franchisees; concentration of Applebee's franchised restaurants in a limited number of franchisees; credit risk from IHOP franchisees operating under our previous business model; termination or non-renewal of franchise agreements; franchisees breaching their franchise agreements; insolvency proceedings involving franchisees; changes in the number and quality of franchisees; heavy dependence on information technology; the occurrence of cyber incidents or a deficiency in our cybersecurity; failure to execute on a business continuity plan; inability to attract and retain talented employees; risks associated with retail brand initiatives; failure of our internal controls; and other factors discussed from time to time in the company's Annual and quarterly reports on forms 10-K and 10-Q and in the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The forward-looking statements contained in this release are made as of the date hereof and the company assumes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements.
This press release is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only.