The International House Of Pancakes or IHOP is an American chain of pancake houses specializing in breakfast foods. It is owned by Dine Brands Global — a company formed after IHOP purchased Applebee’s, with 99% of the restaurants run by independent franchisees. IHOP also offers lunch and dinner options on its menu, even though its focus is mainly on breakfast foods.
The company has 1,841 locations in the Americas, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent, including 161 that are owned by area licensees and 1,680 that are franchised. It is led by its President, Jay Johns.
Dine Brands has ~3,600 restaurants across the globe. In addition to the IHOP restaurants Dine Brands has 1,787 Applebee’s (69 Applebee’s that are company owned).
Jerry Lapin, Al Lapin, and Albert Kallis founded International House of Pancakes in the Los Angeles, California area in 1958 with the help of Sherwood Rosenberg and William Kaye. The breakfast food menu later expanded (especially in the 1980s) to include standard lunch and dinner items found in similar restaurant chains such as Sambo’s and Denny’s.
In 2007, the IHOP Corporation announced the plan to acquire Applebee’s in an all-cash transaction, valued at approximately $2.1 billion. Applebee’s share price for this transaction came to $25.50 per share.
IHOP competes in the Breakfast market against big brand companies such as McDonald’s. IHOP franchisees also compete against other nearby IHOP locations.
The initial IHOP Franchise Fee is $15,000. You have to pay this upfront fee when opening an IHOP franchise.
The estimated total investment necessary to begin the operation of an IHOP Franchise ranges from $1,152,954 to $6,089,550. The following costs are part of the upfront costs included in the initial investment for an IHOP. Many of these are one-time fees that are needed to launch the franchise. Review the chart below to see how much it costs to buy an IHOP franchise in 2022.
|Type of expediture||Amount||To Whom Payment Is To Be Made|
|Location Fee||$15,000||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Initial Franchise Fee||$50,000 (less $15,000 Location Fee paid, for a total of $35,000||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Real Estate||$300,000||$2,500,000||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Construction||$450,000||$2,300,000||As required by contractor, architect, engineers, government, etc.|
|Major Equipment, and Fixtures||$200,000||$600,000||As required by suppliers|
|Smallware Package||$15,000||$30,000||As required by suppliers|
|Signage||$15,000||$10,000||As required by suppliers|
|Inventory||$10,000||$30,000||As required by suppliers|
|Insurance||$30,000||$75,000||As required by suppliers|
|On-location Assistance||$0||$16,000||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Site Approval Costs||$0||$50,000||As required by suppliers|
|Impact Study||$4,000||$6,000||As required by suppliers|
|Opening Training Support Fee||$0||$55,000||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|POS Setup, Training and Support Fee||$3,500||$7,980||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Tray POS Software Fees||$1,100 per year||$3,300 per year||As required by suppliers|
|Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (“EMV”) Point to Point Encryption (“P2P”) Services||$1,000 per year||$2,500 per year||As required by suppliers|
|Wi-Fi Services||$90 per month||$400 per month||As required by suppliers|
|Kitchen Display System||$15,000||$20,000||As required by suppliers|
|Sever Tablets||$0||$20,000||As required by suppliers|
|On-line Ordering||$91 per month||As required by suppliers|
|Mobile Device Management (“MDM”) Fee||$12 per year||$480 per year||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Digital Products Service Fee||$0 per month||$350 per month||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|Implementation Fees||$250||$1,500||Certified or cashier’s check or wire transfer|
|POS System||$20,000||$30,000||As required by suppliers|
|Wait Listing||$15 per month||$69 per month||As required by suppliers|
|Curb Side Pick Up—Fly Buy/I’ve Arrived||$20 per month||$30 per month||As required by suppliers|
|Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”) Fee||$0 per month||$150 per month||As required by IHOP|
|Catering||$0 per month||$30 per month||As required by suppliers|
|Initial Additional Training Expenses||$4,000 per person||$7,000 per person||As required by suppliers|
|Supply Chain Co-op Stock Purchase||$0||$100||Check or money order|
|Additional Funds—3 months||$16,500||$85,250||Checks|
|Miscellaneous||$5,000||$26,000||As required by suppliers|
That is a midpoint investment of $3,621,252. This is higher than most franchises in the Food and Beverage industry with $466,000 per franchise being the average for the industry.
IHOP also offers Express locations with a midpoint investment of $2,058,302. When IHOP Average Unit Volume (AUV) is compared with this cost, it is still too high. We will talk about this below.
IHOP requires prospective franchisees to have a minimum net worth of $1.5 million with at least $500,000 worth of liquid assets.
Royalty: 4.5% of total Gross Sales
National Advertising Fee: 3.5% of total Gross Sales
Tech Support Fee: $1,000 to $1,800
These fees are lesser than the industry standards.
IHOP does not make any financial representations about its franchises, so we are going to estimate Average Unit Volume (AUV) from their financials.
|Initial investment (midpoint)||%Profit margin of median franchise sales||Estimated Profits||Time to recoup investments|
Based on the AUV for IHOP’s franchise locations, at an average of a 15% profit margin it will take around 13 years to recoup your investment. This is longer than other franchise opportunities. You may not get a 15% profit margin which would elongate getting a return on your investment.
Many factors affect the sales, costs, and expenses of your Franchised Store. Such as the Franchised Store’s size, geographic location, menu mix, and competition in the marketplace. The presence of other Breakfast offering stores; the extent of market penetration and brand awareness that IHOP stores have attained in your market. Also, the quality of management and service at your Franchised Store are major factors.
To assign a valuation multiple for IHOP franchises, we leverage estimates from DealStats, a database of acquired private company transactions sourced from U.S. business brokers and SEC filings. We reviewed the larger franchise industry as well as selling price multiples for larger systems where more transaction data is available.
When you go to sell an IHOP franchise based on the median multiple of .59 and AUV in 2021 of $1,808,690, it would sell for $1,067,127. This is significantly lower than the midpoint investment of $3,621,252.
The more franchises you own, the more earning potential you have as private equity firms become interested in your business instead of individual owner-operators.
Through a process called Sales Leaseback. Basically, the franchisee sells the land they own for a good price. This might even be up to $2 million to $4 million depending on the area and customer volume. The franchisee then keeps operating the franchise under a lease agreement. If sold on the upper end of the range, an IHOP franchisee can live off the profits as the cost of the franchise can be recovered. This is an excellent strategy for franchises like IHOP that might not make enough money to recover profits fast enough.
The property above is an example of an IHOP location that’s on a lease from the lessor, Ben-Moshe Brothers. Similarly, an example of a property from Triple Net Properties is below.
|(in thousands)||Years ended in January 2,|
|Costs and Expenses|
|Bad debt expense reversal||$(2,377)|
|Other franchise expenses||$851|
|Total franchise expenses||$50,134|
|General and administrative expenses||$15,479|
|Total costs and expenses||$65,652|
|Other income, net||$1,389|
IHOP is a very profitable business for the franchisor with retained earnings of $59 million in 2021. Without historical financial data, it is not possible to say how strong that growth is.
|Outlet Type||Year||Outlets at the Start of the Year||Outlets at the End of the Year||Net Changes|
Over the last three years, the company has been in decline. Franchising units have decreased. Over the last three years, franchises have closed at a rate of 17 units a year. This is an indicator that these stores may not be performing well. Or that franchisees’ franchise terms are up and they are not renewing it.
IHOP is an established brand in the US market, but its cost is just too high at this point. More franchisees are leaving the business at an accelerating rate.
While this may be the business for you, make sure to also check out other businesses offered on Vetted Biz and in the Food and Beverage Industry.