IHOP, officially known as the International House of Pancakes, is just about impossible not to like. Seriously, the place just wants to sell you lots of creative spins on popular breakfast dishes at reasonable prices, and that formula has been really successful. We bet there are a bunch of things you didn’t know about this popular chain, though.
The very first International House of Pancakes opened its doors in Toluca Lake, California, on July 7, 1958. Founders Jerry and Al Lapin and a couple early investors quickly adopted a franchise model, and within two years franchises began sprouting up throughout the state. By 1963, the chain was so successful that it was able to buy out a handful of other fledgling restaurant chains, including Orange Julius, Love’s Wood Pit Barbecue, Golden Cup Coffee Shops, and even a chain called The Original House of Pies (which we really wish were still around today!).
Over the years, the chain just kept rolling right along, with great success. The popular Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity was rolled out in 1985, the 500th location opened in 1992, system-wide sales topped $1 billion for the first time in 1998, the company went public in 1999, and in 2001 the 1,000th location opened. Today, there are about 1,650 locations in all 50 states as well as around the globe, 99 percent of them franchises.
From its early days as a low-key restaurant specializing in pancakes to its modern-day menu of breakfast specialties like stuffed French toast, cinnamon swirl brioche French toast, New York cheesecake pancakes, and banana-Nutella crepes; dinner entrees like fried chicken, roast turkey dinner, and blue cheese and bacon sirloin; and everything in between (don’t forget the wide variety of syrups and big pots of coffee), IHOP has managed to stay ahead of the curve and above the fray. Read on for 10 things you didn’t know about the International House of Pancakes.
The First Location Is Across the Street From the Oldest Bob’s Big Boy
By sheer coincidence, the first location of IHOP is located right across the street from the oldest-extant location of the once-popular chain Bob’s Big Boy, in Toluca Lake, California.
A Co-Founder Was a Prominent Movie Poster Artist
One of the original investors, Albert Kallis, is best known for creating some of the finest movie poster art from the 1950s, mainly for B movies with names like I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Beast with a Million Eyes, and Fire Maidens of Outer Space.