You know the logo — ocean blue capitalised letters spelling IHOP, or, International House of Pancakes.
Below the OP is a red U-shaped line, meant to be a smile, with the round O and P forming eyes. This internationally-recognised logo is a favourite for many breakfast lovers, pancake connoisseurs, and even those that like affordable burgers and beyond. Where else can you get such fantastic deals on breakfast all hours of the day and night?
This American icon has been franchising internationally since 1969 — but is an IHOP franchise in your future? Does IHOP currently franchise in the UK, and if so, how can you get in on the action?
Look no further for all the answers than right here. Below, we discuss a brief but informative history of IHOP, plus whether the restaurant chain franchises in the United Kingdom. We’ll also take it a step further and let you know what other fantastic franchising opportunities await you.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The International House of Pancakes: A name we know and love
59 years of smiles — and counting.
The IHOP restaurant first opened in 1958, its first location touching down in the suburbs of sunny Los Angeles, California. Back then, it was strictly called the International House of Pancakes®. Not yet had anyone created the catchy IHOP acronym.
Fifteen years after the International House of Pancake®‘s inception, thanks to an effective marketing campaign, the IHOP name was born. Since then, that’s the name everyone uses to identify the place they know they can go to for breakfast offerings day in and day out.
Around the world, IHOP boasts an astounding 1,650 restaurants. This growth is remarkable but not surprising. Breakfast chains like this are accessible for all sorts of reasons — taking Mum out for brunch; curing a hangover, and grabbing the aptly-termed “brinner,” or, “breakfast for dinner.”
The restaurants are currently spread throughout all 50 states, as well as countries like Dubai, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines. Independent franchisees own a whopping 99 per cent of these IHOP locations.
In fact, these franchising opportunities are exactly how IHOP was able to grow so large. Two years after the first establishment opened its doors, IHOP began franchising. By 1992, the 500th restaurant opened, and by 1993, the average sales per IHOP restaurant exceeded $1 million USD.
IHOP was so famous at this point that even the New York Stock Exchange got their hands on it. In 1999, the NYSE began trading IHOP under the term IHP.
By 2007, IHOP was so large that it acquired Applebee’s International, Inc.
And by 2015, IHOP proudly celebrated its 10th Annual National Pancake Day, which raised a record-breaking $3.5m. This also brings a decade-long total of charity dollars to $20m, which supports communities where IHOP does business.
Does IHOP franchise in the UK?
Now you know the details about the successful IHOP restaurant chain. That’s all well and good — but, what about an IHOP franchise opportunity here in the United Kingdom? Does that exist as of today?
Today, there currently are no franchise opportunities within the UK. However, there’s some good news, so don’t get discouraged just yet!
As of July 2017, there have been serious talks about IHOP expanding into international franchise efforts into the UK and the Republic of Ireland. 2017 marked the third consecutive year of global growth for the pancake restaurant, so naturally, the brand wanted to capitalise on it! They have plans to double their international presence by the year 2021.
So, this shows promise and opportunity on the horizon!
The company is currently planning on opening up to 50 IHOP restaurants across the UK and Ireland — and since 99 per cent of their businesses are franchise-owned, they’ll absolutely require some franchisees like yourself to take over. They’re partnering in this expansion with World Franchise Associates and Propel Hospitality, which is UK-based.
According to the president of DineEquity, Inc.: “Our franchisees drive our business”. That’s encouraging news for those who want to get in on a piece of the pancake action. They believe that the UK specifically will be a beautiful place to expand, as it’s home to those who enjoy the breakfast-all-day experience with a side of American hospitality.
Why choose the UK?
Their reasons include the economic stability of the UK, as well as its robust restaurant scene (which consists of both local and international options). Additionally, the UK is known the world over for having professional, successful, and sophisticated franchisees. What a fantastic reputation!
With this information in mind, let’s look to the future.
What’s required of future IHOP franchisees?
Of course, beyond the standard business experience requirements, a franchisee must be passionate about their endeavours.
If you’re not only dedicated to the restaurant industry as a whole but also a massive lover of the IHOP restaurant chain itself, you’re a perfect candidate for getting in on this booming business. Those with restaurant experience are absolutely preferred over those without, as you’ll singlehandedly be in charge of daily operations such as hiring, management, customer satisfaction, and more.
IHOP also prefers entrepreneurial spirits that align with their brand identity (and if you’re still reading this article, that definitely applies to you). Are you committed to providing a high-quality guest experience? Are you a motivated go-getter?
If so, IHOP is looking for you. They’re always willing and able to talk to those who are serious about food, who understand how to build and market a brand, and who want to bring IHOP into their local communities (and their country in general!).
Those who wish to spread the love of pancakes and breakfast-all-day need to jump on this excellent opportunity. Imagine being one of the first franchisees ever to open an IHOP in your country. Prepare to be loved by everyone in your neighbourhood and surrounding area!
This is all excellent news for those curious about an IHOP restaurant.
Today is the perfect time to start planning — you can prepare yourself now for future challenges, setbacks, and more. You can start building up your investment funds, researching all you can about this International House of Pancakes, and becoming the perfect candidate as an IHOP franchisee.
Time to get to work!
What first-time franchisees (and even experienced franchisees) need to know about success
Running a franchise isn’t the easiest thing you’ll do in your lifetime, but it’s certainly rewarding. Being a franchisee allows you the opportunity to attach your name to an already-established business (such as IHOP) and run it as-is.
Rather than having the stress of creating a concept, executing a business plan, and building a restaurant from the ground up, you can step right into a restaurant that people already know and love. This grants you an extraordinary chance to continue running a business without the added hassle of, well, building it. This is exponentially easier if you already know and love the specific restaurant in question.
But how can you be even more successful? There are a few things you can do to increase your odds of achieving all your goals.
First, talk with franchisees around you and gather some insight. Write down questions and bring these queries to them. Consult with networking groups and/or people you know that are already successful franchisees.
What advice can they offer you, or what setbacks came for them that was unexpected? How can you prepare in ways they did not?
Then, visualise yourself in their positions. What would you do? How would you overcome the same hurdles? The more you can prep now, the better off you’ll be later.
And don’t just visualise the tribulations, either. Think about the day-to-day operations, how you picture yourself as the one in charge, and what you expect out of your own journey.
Build goals—and envision them into fruition. Have confidence in your ability to do well!
Want to learn more about franchising in the UK?
Now you know the exciting plans of a future IHOP franchise in the United Kingdom. You could be one of the first people ever to open an International House of Pancakes in the UK. Prepare to field love and appreciation forever!
So, in the meantime, what can you do besides waiting for your turn for this wonderful opportunity?
Keep the research going. The more homework you do now, the more you prepare to take on this fantastic chance in the world of franchising, the smoother your ship will sail. You can never learn too much about franchising (and besides, you’ll look like the perfect candidate when the time comes).
We’re here to help you be as successful as possible in all your endeavours. Consider What Franchise your go-to source anytime you have a question, concern, or just want to learn all you can about franchising in general.
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