DineEquity, Inc. entered the Panama market with the first IHOP restaurant opened on May 23 in Panama City, it was announced by Daniel del Olmo, president of international, DineEquity Inc. The restaurant is one of six IHOP locations planned for Panama during the next five years under an agreement with franchise partner Collins Rada Group Inc. and its affiliates.
Located in Costa del Este, Avenida Centenario, Rada Plaza, Ciudad de Panamá, the restaurant is expected to bring 150 new jobs to the economy as well as additional tax revenue and ongoing local spending on supplies, ingredients and marketing and other services.
"We are delighted to bring the world famous IHOP menu and hospitality to our guests in Panama," says del Olmo. "We've been interested in being part of this vibrant and growing market for some time, but wanted to ensure that we found a franchise partner that shared our commitment to bringing the very best of the brand to the country. We're confident that with the Collins Rada Group, IHOP will bring its heritage of 'Spreading Happiness Since 1958' to this location and others to come."
"We have been fans of IHOP's unparalleled breakfast offerings and lunch and dinner entrees for years," adds Wendy Collins, Collins Rada Group Inc. "We've always felt that the unique IHOP experience and food would be a great match for Panama and we are delighted and excited to bring it here. We look forward to many years of 'spreading happiness' in Panama City and around the country and we are already actively looking for our next location."
The IHOP restaurant will be the latest "California Heritage" model, which pays tribute to the brand's heritage given that the first IHOP restaurant opened in Southern California in 1958. The new design is part of an innovative 360-degree brand evolution that also includes new brand positioning and marketing, menu items and presentation and a service culture that has been created as a result of the largest international research study in the company's history, and is now being implemented internationally. DineEquity franchises two top brands that are leaders in their categories—Applebee's Grill and Bar is a leader in the casual dining category and IHOP restaurants is a leader in the family dining category. The last two years have seen record growth internationally for both DineEquity's brands both in terms of new restaurants in existing markets as well as the addition of new countries and territories including Indonesia, Guam, the Philippines and now Panama.
The restaurant will seat approximately 205 guests and will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.