Dine Brands Global has announced a deal with several principals of Gerry’s Group, a leading logistics and F&B group, to launch Ihop Pakistan.
The deal calls for 19 Ihop locations throughout the country over the next nine years, nine of which will be franchised by the principals of Gerry’s Group with the other 10 sub-franchised. The first location is expected to open in Karachi by the end of this year and continues the brand’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific market.
Ihop, founded in 1958, has been a global brand since 1969. It already has a presence in India, Thailand and Guam as well as 11 other countries and Puerto Rico.
“My commitment as CEO of Dine Brands Global was to return it to a growth company, and our international development is certainly a major component of that growth,” said Steve Joyce. “Key to our international strategy is identifying and entering new markets, such as Pakistan, that have a rapidly growing economy, are contiguous to existing markets to offer an economy of scale, and above all, have an appetite for Ihop’s unique guest experience of warm hospitality with world famous pancakes, breakfast and other menu items.
“The opportunity to partner with principals from Gerry’s Group as franchisees was also a major factor in our decision. Under their ownership, Gerry’s Group is an experienced, established company based in Pakistan with multinational experience across a broad number of industries as well as food and beverage, including operating and owning 40 Costa Coffee locations in the UK.”
“The principals of Gerry’s Group bring a strong track record of success with global brands,” added the firm’s regional VP and GM, Asia Pacific and the Middle East Gary Moore. “They bring an infrastructure – and the shared values and commitment to excellence – that will be key to introducing Ihop in this exciting new country for us.”
“We have had a lot of interest in Pakistan from potential franchisees and while it fits perfectly with our expansion strategy in the region, we wanted to be sure we found the strongest partner in the country to take that step,” said Dine Brands executive director, international, development Dan Lecocq. “Gerry’s Group brings exactly the qualities and qualifications we look for in every franchisee as we look to continue our expansion here and in our other international areas of opportunity.”
MD for Gerry’s Group, Akram Wali Muhammad, said that while Ihop will be a new brand in Pakistan, there is already significant awareness of and excitement about the brand. “We look forward to the opening of our first location later this year.”
Asia Pacific has been targeted as a key area of growth for Dine Brands, along with Latin America, Canada and the Middle East. The company has already signed deals to bring the Ihop brand to South America this year in Peru and Ecuador, and to expand its presence in Canada to Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dine Brands is also actively exploring opportunities to take the Ihop brand to the UK.