DineEquity, one of the world’s largest full service restaurant companies and the franchisor of two Applebee’s Grill and Bar and IHOP restaurants, has announced plans to enter India, the 19th country for the company. DineEquity has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement with Kwal’s Catering, a subsidiary of Kwal’s Group, to bring breakfast and family dining chain IHOP to the country, with the first location scheduled to open in Gurugram in early 2017.
Additional 19 locations are planned in multiple states of Northern and Southern India over the next decade. The addition of 20 IHOP restaurants in India is expected to generate at least 1000 jobs. The local economy is also expected to benefit from the initial construction and ongoing purchase of goods and services, most of which will be sourced locally.
“We are excited to bring our IHOP brand to India with its vibrant, growing economy. Together with our new franchisee, Kwal’s Catering, we have a terrific opportunity to introduce a brand that for 58 years has been spreading happiness. We’re confident that IHOP’s unparalleled breakfast experience any time of day will be embraced by our Indian guests as enthusiastically as it has been in our more than 1,700 locations in 11 countries,” said Daniel del Olmo, president – international, DineEquity.
The menu for India will feature customised dishes to meet the dietary preferences of the country, such as egg-free pancakes, as well as locally inspired vegetarian dishes, both to utilise regional produce, spices and other local ingredients.
Sameer Lamba, managing director, Kwal’s Group, commented, “From the first time I experienced the food and atmosphere at IHOP, I felt that this was a concept that belonged in India. That belief was only strengthened with each visit to an IHOP, where the quality and friendliness met the same high standard, wherever it was located. I am committed to bringing that same IHOP experience to guests in many locations in India, and I am honoured and grateful that IHOP has selected my company to do so.”
Since 2014, 72 new international restaurants have opened, and eight planned additional openings will take place in 2016, resulting in the third consecutive year of record international growth for the company. In addition to 80 newly opened and planned international openings, DineEquity has tripled the international development pipeline to over 200 restaurant commitments. International growth has been largely focused on three key regions – Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, increasing the number of restaurants in existing markets while entering new ones.