IHOP, one of America’s favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, today announced plans to celebrate the opening of its 1,500th restaurant on November 23 at the new DC USA shopping center in the Columbia Heights neighborhood 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 to the communities in which we operate. 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 new, 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 testing 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 Co. LLC which is 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 22 years; Clarence Jackson, III, a 23-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 November 23: The first 1,500 people will receive a free short stack of IHOP’s famous buttermilk pancakes; local pastry artists will create a will create notable D.C. monuments out 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. 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).