Gurugram – DineEquity, Inc., (NYSE: DIN) one of the world’s largest full service restaurant companies and the franchisor of two category leading brands, Applebee’s® Grill + Bar and IHOP® restaurants, today announced the opening of IHOP’s first restaurant in India, DineEquity’s nineteenth country. The world-famous breakfast chain and the leader in family dining opened in Gurugram, Haryana, today under franchisee Kwal’s Catering Private Ltd., a multi-unit franchise organization with plans to open an additional 19 locations in multiple states of Northern and Southern India over the next decade.
“With the ongoing growth of IHOP and the introduction of this world-famous dining experience in India, this is a proud moment for us,” said Gary Moore ,vice president, international, DineEquity, Inc. “The family friendly atmosphere, warm hospitality and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options at IHOP translate to any country and culture the world over, and we look forward to delighting guests in India as we have in our more than 1,700 restaurants spanning 12 countries.”
The menu for this and other India IHOP restaurants will include the beloved American favorites the restaurant is known for, with numerous modifications to appeal to local palates and dietary preferences; 50 percent of the menu will be vegetarian, the pancakes will be eggless, and additional lunch and dinner options will be available – including lamb. The kid’s menu has an extra special “create a face pancake” option, encouraging kids to express their creativity through food.
“From my very first experience with IHOP’s food and atmosphere, I felt that this was a concept that belonged in India,” said Sameer Lamba, managing director of Kwal’s Group. “Since becoming an IHOP franchisee and getting to know the restaurant culture even better, my belief in the brand has been strengthened due to the high quality standards and exceptional friendliness I’ve experienced at every IHOP. We look forward to bringing this unique experience to the guests of our first India restaurant, and the many others to come throughout the country.”
The addition of 20 IHOP restaurants in India is expected to generate at least one thousand jobs. The local economy will also benefit from the initial construction and ongoing purchase of goods and services, most of which will be sourced locally.
In 2014, DineEquity consolidated the Applebee’s and IHOP international brand teams into one business unit and created a new strategic plan based on robust consumer insights and franchisee feedback. As a result, the company implemented a 360-degree brand evolution resulting in new brand positioning, marketing, food and beverage choices, plate presentation, restaurant design and an improved service culture, all of which have been embraced by franchisees.
2016 was the third consecutive year of record international growth for DineEquity. With an international development pipeline of over 200 restaurants, the company is on pace to meet the goal established in 2016 of doubling its international presence to over 500 locations by 2021. International growth has been largely focused on three key regions: Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, increasing the number of restaurants in existing markets while entering new ones.