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IHOP is opening IHOP Express restaurants on military bases. Today, an IHOP Express restaurant opens at the Naval Base San Diego, the largest Naval base on the West Coast. This follows the successful November opening of an IHOP Express restaurant at the Naval Station Norfolk, occupying the largest U.S. Naval station.
"One of IHOP's core strategies is to make IHOP more accessible to our guests," says Jean Birch, IHOP President. "Military bases operate as cities with large populations of both military personnel and civilians, and until these openings, IHOP was not available to the enlisted or civilian personnel. These military base openings are clearly aligned with our expansion strategy."
The decision to expand through non-traditional locations such as military bases and college campuses is part of a larger strategy to make IHOP available to guests that are not currently patronizing IHOP or are visiting infrequently. Along with non-traditional locations, to further this strategy, the company has strategically embarked on a licensing program that allows select business partners to use the IHOP name in key product categories.
The primary expansion vehicle for IHOP continues to be traditional restaurant locations. In spite of a challenging economy, the company opened, on average, a new restaurant more than once per week in 2010. In November, IHOP opened its 1,500th restaurant in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C.