DineEquity, 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, has announced the opening of the first IHOP restaurant in India, DineEquity's nineteenth country. The world famous breakfast chain and the leader in family dining opened in CyberHub, Gurugram, on Sunday, June 5, 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 restaurants and the introduction of our world famous dining experience in India, this is a proud moment for us," said Daniel del Olmo, president, international, DineEquity, Inc. "The family friendly atmosphere, warm hospitality and delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options at IHOP restaurants 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 brand 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.
The design of the India restaurants will also be unique to reflect the brand's 'spreading happiness since 1958' positioning. Guests will notice key elements of the California Heritage design, including the pancake station, an open kitchen and fresh juice bar along with design elements reflecting IHOP's heritage.
"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 restaurant. 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 anticipated addition of 20 IHOP restaurants in India is expected to generate at least one thousand jobs, and benefit the local economy from the initial construction and ongoing purchase of goods and services.
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.