The "International" in International House of Pancakes is not because they in fact are internationally located (although they have restaurants in Canada and Japan), but because their menu items include pancakes from around the world--in this case, "around the world" is defined as Germany, Sweden, and France. And, yes, technically, they also have Belgian waffles and French toast--not to mention the International Omelette, which has "a world of flavor" represented by ham, cheese, green peppers and the positively multicultural salsa.

It has been pointed out to me that perhaps this restaurant chain should be named the House of International Pancakes. Indeed.

(source: the IHOP website)

International House Of Pancakes (IHOP) (NYSE: IHP) is a chain of 1,103[1] restaurants (primarily franchises) located in the US and Canada. IHOP specializes in breakfast foods, primarily pancakes and waffles. Most of them are open twenty-four hours a day, and all of them serve breakfast any time they're open. They also serve the usual array of American "diner" cuisine, similar to the Denny's restaurants. That means pancakes (of course), waffles, french toast, a variety of omelets, and so on, as well as hamburgers, steaks, and other classic American entrees. As they are a family restaurant, they naturally put quite a bit of energy into desserts, with a selection of cakes, pies, and ice cream dishes.

The first IHOP was opened by Al Lapin July 7, 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, near Los Angeles. It became a public company in 1961, rapidly growing into a presence of fifty locations, mostly in A-frame buildings. Exploiting the franchise concept brought great success, and over the years the company (Renamed International Industries, Inc. in 1963) acquired control of Love's Wood Pit Barbecue, Golden Cup Coffee Shops, The Original House of Pies, Wil Wright's Ice Cream Shoppes, Woody's SmorgasBurger, The Dog House, and Copper Penny, as well as non-food brands The Big Brake Safety Center, The Golden Oaks Retirement Homes, United Rent-Alls, House of Nine, and the Sawyer College of Business[2]. They also owned Orange Julius, which they subsequently sold to International Dairy Queen. The company in charge of IHOP chain restaurants and franchises is known as IHOP Corp. In 2001, the net income of International Industries, Inc. was US$40.288M, with a Net income per diluted share of $1.94.

In locations which permit the smoking of tobacco inside of restaurants, most IHOPs do so as well. These restaurants frequently have a separate room separated by glass for the smoking crowd, especially where required by law.

For more information, the interested are encouraged to visit the web site at, or send (snail) mail to IHOP public relations at:

IHOP Corp.
Public Relations
450 North Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203

The acronym IHOP has been frequently expanded to mean a variety of other things, including "International House Of Pogo (Sticks)," which seems amusingly appropriate.


  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. . International House of Pancakes, 2003. (
  3. Company History
  4. . International House of Pancakes, 2003. (

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