IHOP (/ˈaɪhɑːp/), officially known as the International House of Pancakes, is an American multinational pancake house/fast casual family restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods. It is owned by DineEquity, with 99% of the restaurants run by independent franchisees. While IHOP's focus is on breakfast foods, it also offers a menu of lunch and dinner items. The company has 1,650 locations in North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. It is known for many of its locations being open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For locations that are not open 24 hours, the franchise's minimum operating hours are Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12 midnight.
Jerry Lapin, Al Lapin, and Albert Kallis founded International House of Pancakes in 1958 with the help of Sherwood Rosenberg and William Kaye. The first restaurant opened on July 7, 1958, at 4301 Riverside Drive in Burbank, CA]]
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 and left poster artwork.
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. From 1959 to 1975, it was the flagship division of International Industries, a holding company which also owned the Orange Julius refreshment stands.
In 1973, the chain's name was shortened to "IHOP" for marketing purposes, using a cartoon kangaroo in its commercials at the time, and since then the full name and acronym have been officially interchangeable. From 1976 onward, the company increasingly favored the acronym.
Franchising agreements with M.H. Alshaya, an international restaurant-franchising firm, resulted in an agreement for Alshaya to open as many as forty IHOP locations in the Middle East, beginning in 2012. By the end of 2013, IHOP restaurants operated in three Middle Eastern countries: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
An IHOP with the older look and former logos in Orlando, Florida
An IHOP in Poughkeepsie, New York
On July 16, 2007, IHOP Corporation stated its desire to acquire the bar-and-grill chain Applebee's International, Inc. in an all-cash transaction, valued at approximately US$2.1 billion. Under the deal, IHOP would pay $25.50 per share for Applebee's. IHOP stated it would franchise most of Applebee's 500 company-owned facilities. Applebee's had 1,943 restaurants worldwide at the time, including those operated by franchisees.
With a larger than 70% vote, the company approved the undertaking of this enterprise, which closed on November 29, 2007. The deal beat 26 other offers to purchase the flagging Applebee's. A number of executives from Applebee's voted against the offer. The chain's largest individual shareholder, Applebee's director Burton "Skip" Sack, stated he planned to take IHOP to court to demand a higher amount of money to be paid to him because the purchasing price that IHOP offered is unfair to the shareholders of Applebee's. As part of the purchase, a brand remarketing scheme and revitalization of the Applebee's image was intended. The buyout successfully closed on November 29, 2007, and the corporate entity IHOP changed its name to DineEquity on May 28, 2008.
In early September 2010, IHOP filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against International House of Prayer and six other defendants alleging trademark dilution and infringement. The lawsuit was dropped on December 21, 2010, with the dispute resolved out of court.