In front of an audience of more than 800 people from around the globe, IHOPRestaurants announced its 2015 “Franchisee of the Year,” “International Franchisee of the Year,” and “Vendor Partner of the Year” awards. The ceremony took place as part of the company’s annual International Franchise Conference, where franchisees and IHOP executives gathered to celebrate the brand’s success as the leader in the family-dining category and collaborate on plans designed to build upon that lead in 2016.

It was Mohanad Khmous, a humble, philanthropic, pancake-loving father of four from Kansas City, Missouri, who got the top nod as 2015 “Franchisee of the Year.” The award is presented to the franchise owner who best demonstrates IHOP’s management and service standards. Candidates are nominated by operations leadership and submitted to a panel of IHOP senior executives. The candidates are then judged on a variety of criteria, including leadership skills, adherence to operations standards and promotion of the IHOP brand. More than 99 percent of all IHOP restaurants are franchised by more than 350 IHOP franchisees.

Monterrey-based Family Foods of Mexico received the “International Franchisee of the Year” award that is presented to the franchise owner outside of the U.S. who has consistently achieved excellence in their operations, guest satisfaction, sales and commitment to their communities. Family Foods was recognized for its strong sales and operational excellence in bringing the best in IHOP food and hospitality to its five restaurants in Mexico.

Kansas City, Missouri-based, Smithfield Farmland Foodservice was recognized as the IHOP “Vendor Partner of the Year.” The award distinguishes excellence in service to the system and 2015 nominees were selected from across the food, non-food and distributor categories. Smithfield Farmland Foodservice was acknowledged for its significant contributions in the areas of menu innovation, product testing and strategic sourcing strategies in partnership with IHOP restaurants.

“As we continue to grow the IHOP brand, it is important that we take the time to honor and celebrate those who go above and beyond the call of duty,” says Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP. “These award recipients and their team members serve as examples for all our present and future franchise and vendor partners.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Labor & Employees, IHOP