US restaurant chain unveils big ME plans
Kuwait, June 21, 2011
California-based IHOP family restaurant chain has signed a deal with Kuwaiti franchise operator MH Alshaya Company to open 40 new restaurants in the Middle East region.
IHOP, a unit of DineEquity, one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant company, said the agreement marks its first major expansion outside of North America and represents the largest international development deal in the brand’s history.
DineEquity is the parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar Restaurants, which comprise over 3,500 restaurants combined.
Under the multi-restaurant franchise agreement, Alshaya will help develop 40 new IHOP restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt in the next five years.
“This deal illustrates our commitment to grow the business by leveraging DineEquity’s valuable brands and expanding beyond the markets we have traditionally served,” said Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s chairman and CEO.
“We look forward to working with Alshaya to make IHOP, with its unmistakable offerings and excellent service, a destination of choice for guests throughout the Middle East,” she stated.
Jean Birch, IHOP president, said the Alshaya agreement marks a major milestone in its international development strategy and reflects the group's commitment to make the brand accessible to more guests.
"IHOP is an icon in the industry, and we are proud to partner with one of the premier franchisees of international brands in the Middle East to deliver our delicious food and warm service to an entirely new set of guests and their families," Birch remarked.
"IHOP will be one of the best known American family dining brands to enter the Middle East when its restaurants begin to open over the next 12 months," he added.
On the new dining venture, executive chairman Mohammed Alshaya, said, "Consumers in the Middle East consistently tell us that they want great quality and great value that IHOP represents and we are pleased to introduce this leading American dining brand here."
Alshaya has a successful history of operating 55 leading international brands in the region including Starbucks, H&M, Mothercare, Debenhams, American Eagle, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, PF Chang’s, Office Depot and Boots.
“The popularity and international appeal of the IHOP brand, combined with our proven track record of operating and delivering exceptional service customized to the local market promises to create a powerful partnership,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service