IHOP has posted the largest first-quarter revenue gains in a decade
for restaurants that have been open more than 18 months -- a
noteworthy indicator of the Glendale company's financial health,
Same-store sales for the period ending March 31 increased by more
than 7% over the same period last year.
"This is the most significant indicator that we are doing well,
because it shows that our existing stores are doing well," IHOP
spokesman Patrick Lenow said. Franchise-based companies usually
increase revenues by adding new locations, he added.
Lenow said IHOP does not provide a breakdown of how much revenue
the increase represents. Total sales for the company are scheduled
for release April 22. Last year's first-quarter revenues were $413.8
IHOP's one location in Glendale, 605 N. Glendale Ave., has been
there for about 40 years. Noticing an increase in sales is difficult,
manager Hilario Villanueva said.
"We are so busy all the time, I don't know if we have more
customers or not," he said.
Lenow credits the chain's success to a new business model that
freed up money for consumer research, employee training and
In 2003, IHOP stopped financing new franchises and transitioned
into a more traditional model in which franchise owners supply their
own money to develop a new restaurant.
The company invested more into marketing, allowing the 45-year-old
company to run commercials on network television for the first time
in its history, Lenow said.
"We are seeing a definite upturn in first-time and repeat
customers," he said.
IHOP officials do not plan any major changes in the near future
and will continue investing in marketing and training for employees,