GLENDALE, CA, Jul 28, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- IHOP(R), one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, today announced the appointment of Natalia Franco to the position of senior vice president, marketing. Franco is a food and marketing industry veteran with nearly 30 years experience, including marketing leadership positions with Burger King Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company and General Mills. Franco will be responsible for developing and delivering strategic direction of the IHOP brand through advertising, brand marketing, innovation and product development.
Jean Birch, IHOP's president, said, "We are excited to welcome Natalia to the IHOP family. Her passion for the food industry and proven track record for innovation and brand differentiation will be an asset as we position IHOP for continued growth. Natalia will be responsible for spearheading IHOP's strategic marketing initiatives that drive profitable sales and traffic growth, as well as serve as a brand steward focused on delighting our guests."
Franco is a seasoned marketer with experience leading efforts to re-energize brands, products and concepts across a wide spectrum of the food industry. She previously served as executive vice president, global chief marketing officer of Burger King Corporation, the world's second largest quick service restaurant with more than 12,000 locations. While with Burger King, she developed a global brand vision and new menu strategy while also redefining the brand's value proposition. Prior to Burger King, Franco was global vice president, marketing and innovation for The Coca-Cola Company where she was responsible for leading marketing and innovation initiatives for the McDonald's division. Previously, she held positions with increasing responsibility at General Mills where she also served as the U.S. vice president, cereal strategic growth channels and the Big G cereal division.
Franco earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the Colegio de Estudios Superiores de Administracion in Bogota, Colombia, and received a C.S.S. graduate degree in business management with a concentration in marketing from Harvard University.
For 53 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(TM) 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).