IHOP eyes airport outposts

GLENDALE Calif. IHOP parent DineEquity Inc. said it is exploring expansion of the family-dining chain into airport, travel plaza and college campus locations.

IHOP spokesman Patrick Lenow said the company was in the early stages of looking at on-site expansion.

"We think IHOP is a viable option for airports, and [this plan] goes back to our strategy of being more accessible to the guest in different ways," he said.

The is no timetable for when an on-site IHOP may debut, Lenow said. He said the company has started reaching out to contract foodservice players.

“We’re trying to find the right partner and right space available, although we certainly have internal goals about when and where we think it could be up and running,” he said.

Lenow noted that the expansion would be based on the "availability of real estate at airports that are being remodeled and enhancing their foodservice [options].” Other factors that may impact the chain's plans are whether an airport outpost of IHOP would have to be an "express" store and whether the menu would have to be altered, he said.

DineEquity is also the parent of the Applebee's casual-dining chain.