IHOP - The International House of Pancakes

IHOP celebrates birthday with 57 cent buttermilk pancake short stacksIHOP (International House of Pancakes) (/ˈaɪhɒp/) is a United States-based multinational restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods. It is owned by DineEquity, with 99% of the restaurants run by independent franchisees.[3] While IHOP's focus is on breakfast foods such as pancakes, French toast, and omelettes, it also offers a menu of lunch and dinner items. The company has 1,500 locations in the United States and Canada. In August 2012, it opened its first franchise in Dubai as part of a major expansion into the Middle East restaurant market. A second IHOP restaurant in the Middle East opened in Kuwait in February 2013.

Jerry Lapin, Al Lapin, and Albert Kallis founded IHOP in 1958 with the help of Sherwood Rosenberg and William Kaye. The first restaurant opened on July 7, 1958, at 4301 Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, California. The location is coincidentally across from the oldest remaining Bob's Big Boy restaurant. Albert Kallis was a professional artist who designed the film posters of American International Pictures in the 1950s. Director Bert I. Gordon recalled that Kallis designed their logo[6] and left poster artwork.

The restaurant chain originally adopted the franchise-business model, where individual entrepreneurs who were granted permission by the IHOP ownership group could start and run their own IHOP restaurant. For example, Benson Gidan, an in-law of Jerry and Al Lapin, owned and operated one of the busiest and most popular IHOP franchises in the 1970s, located on Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles, California.

The original concept was a restaurant which featured various types of pancakes and similar foods such as crepes and blintzes from around the world, at affordable prices. The chain was notable for their syrups of several different flavors. The menu later expanded (especially in the 1980s) to include (along with breakfast foods) standard lunch and dinner items found in similar restaurant chains such as Denny's. IHOP was owned at one time by a parent holding company which also owned the Orange Julius refreshment stands, but was sold by the mid-1970s.

In June 2011, DineEquity announced a 40-restaurant agreement with M.H. Alshaya[8] to expand IHOP into the Middle East and Egypt. As of December 29, 2013, four restaurants have been opened in the Middle East, two in Dubai, one in Kuwait, and one in Saudi Arabia. On September 6, 2011, a gunman, identified as 32-year-old Eduardo Sencion,[12] opened fire in a branch of the IHOP restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, killing four people, including three members of the National Guard, and wounding seven others.
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