GLENDALE, CA -(Marketwire - November 22, 2010) - IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will celebrate the opening of its 1,500th restaurant tomorrow, November 23, at the new DC USA shopping complex in the Columbia Heights community of Washington, D.C. The opening furthers IHOP's strategy of maximizing franchise development and making IHOP more accessible to guests. IHOP is the sales leader in the family dining category and continues to outpace its competition in the development and opening of new restaurants nationwide.
"This is a significant milestone for IHOP and demonstrates our continued efforts to be an industry leader in terms of growth, sales and community support," said Jean Birch, IHOP President. "Our goals are to make IHOP more convenient to guests nationwide, including underserved communities; to offer innovative yet familiar food at a fair price; and, to give back. IHOP was founded by an enthusiastic pair of entrepreneurs in 1958, and the opening of the 1,500th restaurant by a family of entrepreneurs reminds us of our heritage and how franchising is key to our success."
The opening of traditional IHOPs, such as the location in Columbia Heights, is one of the key tactics in fulfilling IHOP's ongoing strategy to expand the brand's accessibility to new and current guests. In spite of a challenging economy and when other restaurant companies are reducing their number of restaurants, more than 60 new franchised IHOPs will open in 2010. With a franchise development pipeline of over 300 restaurants, IHOP is well-positioned for continued growth in upcoming years. IHOP is also embarking on other growth opportunities, including the test of express units and the licensing of the company's name for select retail products.
The 1,500th IHOP is franchised by DC Pancakes, LLC., a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based The Jackson Investment Group owned by a long-time entrepreneurial family that includes Clarence Jackson, Jr., a notable residential developer in the area, a retired 32-year D.C. Public Library employee, and a retired Sergeant of the D.C. National Guard who served 21 years; Clarence Jackson, III, a 22-year veteran of the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department; and Tyoka Jackson, a retired 12-year player of the National Football League.
"Our family is passionate about and extremely devoted to Washington, D.C., and to improving communities in need," said Tyoka Jackson. "By opening new IHOPs we are achieving our goals of creating jobs, providing better services and giving back to the community that has been so good to us."
The opening of the IHOP in Columbia Heights marks the second in a three-location franchise agreement with IHOP for the Jackson Family. They opened the first IHOP in Washington, D.C. in 2008 in the 8th Ward. The location was the first full-service chain restaurant in the 8th Ward to open at the time. The two restaurants have created more than 200 jobs.
A number of activities are planned in celebration of the milestone opening on Tuesday: The first 1,500 people will receive a free short stack of IHOP's famous buttermilk pancakes; local pastry artists (Leslie Goldman-Poyourow of Fancy Cakes by Leslie and Randi Goldman of Creative Cakes, Inc.) will create an iconic replica of one of Washington's most famous monuments using scores of pancakes with the assistance of students from the culinary program at Bell Multicultural High School; and a ribbon cutting will feature D.C. notables including Mayor Adrian Fenty, Councilmember Jim Graham and Council Chairman Elect Kwame Brown. A contribution will be made to the Multicultural Career Intern Program (MCIP), the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports Bell Multicultural High School, which is across the street from the new restaurant.
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. The first IHOP opened in Toluca Lake, Calif. in 1958, and as of September 30, 2010, there were 1,483 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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).
DC USA is the District of Columbia's largest retail shopping complex. It is a three-level, 550,000-square-foot complex anchored by a two-level, 180,000-square-foot Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, Staples, Marshalls, and Washington Sports Club. Other specialty retailers include Payless Shoe Source, Radio Shack, Lane Bryant, The Children's Place, The Vitamin Shoppe, IHOP, Panda Express, Mattress Discounters, Sports Zone, and Señor Chicken.
Except for historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements that involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors discussed from time to time in the Company's news releases, public statements and/or filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which may cause the actual results to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These statements may be identified by their use of forward looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "believe," "plan," or other similar terminology. Forward-looking information is provided by the Company pursuant to the safe harbor established under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and should be evaluated in the context of these factors. In addition, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.