Glendale-based IHOP on Monday announced its largest international expansion ever, unveiling plans to open 40 restaurants over the next five years in nine Middle Eastern countries.
DineEquity Inc., the Glendale-based corporate parent of IHOP and Applebee’s, said the restaurants would open in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere, adding to chain’s international portfolio, which includes 33 restaurants in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Applebee’s already has several restaurants in the Middle East.
The IHOP stores will be operated by an affiliate of M.H. Alshaya Co., a regional franchisor for dozens of Western food and retail brands including Starbucks, Cheesecake Factory, Pottery Barn and Estee Lauder.
IHOP officials said the Middle Eastern expansion is the biggest move into the international marketplace in the chain’s 52-year history.
“The Alshaya agreement marks a major milestone in IHOP’s international development strategy and reflects our commitment to make the brand accessible to more guests,” IHOP President Jean Birch said in a statement.