IHOP® History

A journey from breakfast restaurant to American icon.

International House of Pancakes® began making breakfast memorable in 1958 when it opened its doors in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Fifteen years later, a new marketing campaign introduced the acronym "IHOP", and since then it’s been the name people know as the place they can enjoy their favorite breakfast experience – any time of day.

Throughout our 54-year history, we've celebrated over 1,550 restaurant openings across the country, and around the world. And we've introduced iconic favorites – like our Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity® – that people have grown up with, and now enjoy with their own families, making new memories.

  1. 1958
    Founders Al and Jerry Lapin, along with early investors Al and Trudy Kallis, open the first International House of Pancakes in the Los Angeles suburb of Toluca Lake, California.
  2. 1960
    Company begins to expand through franchising.
  3. 1961
    Company is publicly traded under the name International House of Pancakes.
  4. 1963
    Company adopts the name International Industries after it acquires numerous franchised brands, which it controls throughout the 60s. Brands include: International House of Pancakes, Orange Julius, Love's Wood Pit Barbecue, Golden Cup Coffee Shops, The Original House of Pies, Wil Wright's Ice Cream Shoppes, among others.
  5. 1973
    A marketing program introduces the acronym "IHOP" for the first time.
  6. 1979
    The last of the iconic A-frame IHOPs is built.
  7. 1985
    Actor Cliff Bemis becomes an IHOP favorite, starring in commercials from the mid-80s thru the mid-90s.
  8. 1985
    The Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity® is introduced, and guests across the country have fun pronouncing the one-of-a-kind breakfast.
  9. 1991
    IHOP moves its headquarters to Glendale, California and via an initial public offering becomes publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “IHP”.
  10. 1992
    500th IHOP restaurant opens.
  11. 1993
    Average sales per IHOP restaurant exceeds $1 million.
  12. 1998
    For the first time, system-wide sales of IHOP reach $1 billion.
  13. 1999
    IHOP begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “IHP”.
  14. 2001
    The 1,000th IHOP opens in Layton, Utah.
  15. 2002
    Julia A. Stewart is appointed President.
  16. 2003
    The award-winning “Come hungry. Leave happy.” advertising campaign launches and IHOP introduces our
    popular Stuffed French Toast.
  17. 2004
    IHOP wins prestigious Advertising and Marketing Awareness award for “Come hungry. Leave happy.” campaign.
  18. 2005
    IHOP introduces Funnel Cakes as a Limited-Time Offer, and quickly becomes the country’s largest seller of this favorite amusement park treat.
  19. 2006
    New ICON building prototype is introduced as the look for IHOP in the new millennium.
  20. 2007
    On November 29, 2007, IHOP Corp. successfully completes the acquisition of Applebee’s International, Inc. With more
    than 3,300 restaurants, the combination brings together two leading restaurant brands and creates the largest
    full-service restaurant company in the world.
  21. 2008
    IHOP Celebrates 50! From our humble beginnings in Toluca Lake, California we have become one of America’s favorite restaurants, with over 1,400 locations coast to coast.
  22. 2010
    Introduces SIMPLE & FIT menu, now with more than 30 items under 600 calories plus tips to meet nutrition goals located throughout the menu.
  23. 2011
    Pancake Rev
    IHOP celebrates its sixth National Pancake Day. In just six years, IHOP has raised $8 million in support of the communities where we do business! IHOP also becomes inaugural leader in Kids LiveWell initiative.
  24. 2012
    IHOP launches the new “Everything You Love About BreakfastSM” campaign, including our first brand anthem TV spot and guest testimonials.