GLENDALE, CA (October 20, 2010)—IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, celebrated the company's success and honored franchisees, vendors and team members at its annual Franchise Conference in Las Vegas. The theme for the conference, led by IHOP President Jean Birch, was Growing Together.
IHOP management reviewed the progress made in establishing IHOP as the sales leader in family dining, and shared strategic plans for 2011 and beyond. Throughout the conference, franchisees and vendors participated in sessions on food and beverage innovation, operations, marketing, and they shared best demonstrated practices.
"IHOP's success and leadership in family dining is a direct result of our hard-working franchisees, team members and vendor partners," said Jean Birch, IHOP President. "By delivering an outstanding experience to guests, they keep diners coming back for our unique and delicious offerings at reasonable prices. It is our franchisees, team members and vendors that are at the core of our success and we were happy to celebrate them throughout the conference."
The coveted "Franchisee of the Year" award was given to Mike Szawielenko, owner and operator of IHOPs in the San Diego, Palm Springs, and Orange County, California markets. The award is IHOP's most prestigious honor and is judged on a franchisee's level of operational excellence, regional mentoring and leadership.
Lee Tangas, a 19-year IHOP team member, was named "Franchise Business Consultant of the Year." This is IHOP's highest honor for field team members and recognizes outstanding ability in franchisee support, quality of operations, teamwork and the ability to impact and influence. She supports franchisees in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
IHOP and its exclusive buying agent, Centralized Supply Chain Services, LLC, collaborated to honor Vendor Partners of the Year. The annual awards recognize food, non-food and distribution partners who provide great value, product consistency and quality, service and responsiveness, reliability and innovation. Glazier Foods Company was recognized as the 2010 "Distributor of the Year" and heralded for their strong inventory management practices, proactive approach, and collaborative action on behalf of members to implement cost-reduction programs. Georgia Pacific, IHOP's sole vendor for towels, napkins and tissue, took home the "Non-Food Supplier of the Year" award for their continuing leadership in technical innovation, including environmentally friendly products. They also were recognized for their reliable service and ability to keep prices stable even when faced with rising costs.
IHOP's "Food Vendor of the Year" award went to Cargill Foodservice North America for the multiple platforms on which they have excelled at in supporting the IHOP system. Specifically cited were their technical assistance for product performance projects, alternating sourcing scenarios in which their product has earned them a "gold standard" reputation, and their relentless quest to manage and reduce costs.