US pancake chain IHOP heads to the Middle East

Franchise deal with Kuwait’s Alshaya will see 40 outlets across MidEast in five years

IHOP plans to open its first Middle East store within 12 months

IHOP plans to open its first Middle East store within 12 months

American pancake chain IHOP is set to open its doors in the Middle East after parent company DineEquity inked a franchise deal with Kuwait’s MH Alshaya Co.

The retail conglomerate plans to open 40 restaurants across the six Gulf states, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt in the next five years, marking IHOP’s first major expansion outside the US.

The pancake chain will open its first branch within 12 months, the companies said in a joint statement. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The franchise reflects DineEquity’s efforts to “grow our business by leveraging [our] brands and expanding beyond our markets we have traditionally served,” said Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s chairman and CEO.

IHOP has 1,500 restaurants and a franchise pipeline of a further 300, the company said.

Alshaya, one of the Gulf’s largest family-owned firms, has an extensive franchise portfolio that includes a string of US household name food and beverage brands.

The company has closed franchises in the last six months for the Chicago-based chain Potbelly Sandwich Shop, and a 22-outlet deal for New-York listed chain The Cheesecake Factory

Alshaya operates 2,000 stores across 15 countries, and counts brands such as Starbucks, Pizza Express, American Eagle, Boots and Pottery Barn in its portfolio.

The company employs around 20,000 people and operates 2,000 stores in 15 markets.

In November, the company said it planned to open 1,250 new stores over the next five years, creating an estimated 4,000 jobs.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: ZZ top

Is it coming to Dubai, anytime soon??

Posted by: Hakeem Wazeer

I am from Ejypt. I love iPod, iPhone, and iPad. I cannot wait for iHop to be available in my country.

Posted by: Expat

IHOP sucks...average food on a good day. What does it say that the Applebees franchise partners did not want it (in the U.S. Applebees and IHOP are owned by the same company which is why you will see the Applebees sign in the back ground of the photo)?

Posted by: sonnydubai

Just what this region needs...more fast food chains. The level of obesity here amongst the local population is appalling.

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudis tighten their belts for Eid in age of austerity

Saudis tighten their belts for Eid in age of austerity

Gov't cuts, which began late in 2015, are now rippling through...

New Saudi snow city tests kingdom's capacity for fun

New Saudi snow city tests kingdom's capacity for fun

Mixed-gender attraction is a rare opportunity for Saudis of all...

Retail renaissance in Saudi Arabia

Retail renaissance in Saudi Arabia

The largest economy in the GCC is emerging as a lucrative retail...

Most Discussed