) - parent company of the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
and IHOP Restaurants - continues to expand its IHOP Restaurants
brand through its Bahrain debut. The new restaurant - located in
Bahrain City Centre - features IHOP Restaurants' signature menu
of breakfast favorites, such as pancakes, waffles, omelets as
well as lunch and dinner items.
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The opening marks the sixth of a 40-restaurant development
agreement between DineEquity and M.H. Alshaya Company - a leading
international franchise restaurant operator. The deal pertains to
restaurant openings across the Middle East and North Africa
region. Under this deal, future openings are expected in Lebanon,
Qatar, Oman and Egypt.
DineEquity's expansion in the Middle East marks the first major
expansion of the brand outside the U.S. The company
conventionally focused on the North American market, with
franchises in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. However, lately, the
company expanded the brand to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin
Islands and Guatemala, and has been looking beyond the shores of
Since the brand's entry into the Middle East with the opening of
a restaurant in the UAE, it has grown by leaps and bounds.
Currently, IHOP-branded restaurants are successfully operating at
locations like Dubai, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In a bid to boost business, several U.S.-based restaurateurs are
currently focusing on unit expansions internationally. Among
The Cheesecake Factory Inc.
) inked a licensing agreement with Alshaya to develop restaurants
in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia and other markets in the Middle East and North Africa.
In our view, DineEquity's recent expansion reflects its effort to
tap the growth potential of the Bahraini economy, which has been
recognized by the World Bank as a high income economy. Further,
the company seeks to cash in on Alshaya's expertise as one of the
largest retailers in the Middle East which has been working with
major brands like
American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
DineEquity currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).