Industry News | July 7, 2008

IHOP Celebrates Its 50th Birthday in 2008

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Today, IHOP joins Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna, Sharon Stone, NASA, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and other American icons turning 50 this year by proving that 50 isn't what it used to be. According to leading consumer research firm Yankelovich, turning 50 now marks a time of self-discovery, independence, and indulgence.

"Over the last 50 years, IHOP has secured its status as an American icon with its focus on great food that brings families and friends together," says Julia Stewart, DineEquity Inc.'s chairman and CEO. "Today, IHOP continues to resonate with the family-friendly values it was founded on, while still providing guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service."

Nearly 16 billion pancakes topped with more than 32 million gallons of syrup have been served over the last 50 years. To wash the pancakes down, nearly 74 million pounds of coffee beans have been ground to fill IHOP's Never-Empty Pot of International House Roast Coffee.

To mark the milestone birthday, IHOP launched IHOPStuff.com featuring stylish vintage tees emblazoned with iconic IHOP images and signature dishes like "Rooty Tooty Fresh 'n Fruity." Continuing the celebration, a national contest engaged thousands of IHOP fans to share memories at the restaurant from the past 50 years, showcasing the role IHOP has played in many special occasions and life events. The winner of the national "It Happens at IHOP" contest, Scott Reader of Maple Shade, New Jersey, shared his story of teaching a weekly "life skills" class at IHOP to his special needs class, where the students learn to engage in conversation with adults, order from the menu, and pay on their own. When the local IHOP was having problems with migrating geese that wouldn't leave, Scott engaged his students in woodshop class to create wooden dogs that did the trick and scared off the geese. For his entry, Scott won a lifetime supply of free pancakes. More contest entries are featured at www.ihop.com.

This summer, IHOP set off on the Discover America Road Tour, crossing the nation to celebrate two American classics--pancakes and baseball. An IHOP-branded RV is traveling more than 8,500 miles to visit Minor League Baseball parks in 27 cities, bringing cheer, games and giveaways. Expressing its roots in Americana, IHOP restaurants are offering nine new state-themed pancake flavors from now through September 7.

For the last 50 years, IHOP franchisees have been proud to give back to the communities in which they do business by supporting a wide range of local and national charities. Earlier this year, IHOP celebrated a banner year for its third annual National Pancake Day, serving more than 1.5 million free buttermilk pancakes and raising a record $875,000 benefiting Children's Miracle Network and other local charities.

Each of these efforts are part of IHOP's ongoing strategy to reenergize the brand over the last five years, including a remodel of all IHOP restaurants set to be complete at the end of next year, a new building prototype, new employee uniforms, the launch of IHOP's branded take-out program, IHOP 'n Go, and an ongoing evolution of the menu to include fresh, craveable items that can be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.