"It's cliché to say, but everything on the menu is someone's favorite dish. ... It really just comes down to what you're in the mood for."
— Jenn Lloyd, general manager, IHOP Tumon
For 58 years, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world-famous pancakes and a wide variety of other breakfast, lunch, and now, dinner items to hungry customers across the globe.
Just a little under two years ago, in July 2015, the International House of Pancakes made its debut on Guam, opening its doors to local families and breakfast fans in a commercial building between Guam Premier Outlets and Cost-U-Less in Tamuning.
With nearly 2,000 IHOP chain restaurants across the United States and several countries, bringing the famous pancake house to Guam was always a part of the plan, according to Jason Respicio, director of marketing for IHOP Guam.
Owned by DineEquity, one of the largest full-service dining companies in the world, both IHOP and Applebee’s were on the agenda to establish locations on Guam when a group of local investors were mulling the idea in 2013, Respicio said.
Since opening in Tamuning in 2015, IHOP has expanded to a total of three locations in the region. IHOP was first introduced to the Northern Mariana Islands just last year, opening its first location in Garapan, Saipan, in July 2016, according to Jenn Lloyd, general manager of IHOP’s Tumon location.
"IHOP is a place where people can enjoy their favorite breakfast any time of the day," Lloyd said. "IHOP is a brand that people have grown up with and now enjoy with their own families, making new memories with each visit."
One month after opening in Saipan, IHOP opened its second location on Guam in Tumon’s Pleasure Island. The joint officially opened in August 2016, creating about 65 additional jobs and boasting nearly 150 seats, according to Respicio.
"You have a choice to dine in the main dining area, the kitchen dining - if you feel like watching the cooks in action - or the outside patio if you feel like seeing pedestrians and the surrounding buildings while getting some fresh air while you eat," Respicio said. "We are also located in the Plaza Shopping Center, so you can shop around after you dine in."
Some residents might have found it odd to have a restaurant chain known for its family breakfast style pop up in the heart of Tumon, in the midst of high-end luxury stores and other extravagant retailers.
"IHOP is such an iconic brand in the breakfast space and we knew that it would be a great opportunity to introduce such a fun and creative brand to those visiting our island," Respicio said. "Paired with a fantastic location inside Pleasure Island, it was a pretty easy decision to make."
In fact, since opening in Tumon, IHOP has seen booming business with the island’s tourists, who don’t have the luxury of enjoying the all-American breakfast treats back in their home countries.
IHOP currently has not established any locations in Guam’s neighboring Asian countries, with the exception of the Philippines, according to its website.
"We've been very fortunate to have entered the Tumon market at a great time," Respicio said. "IHOP doesn't have much brand representation in Japan or Korea, two of the largest markets in (local) tourism. Fortunately, to be received so well in such a short period of time is a true testament to our brand, our team and the hard work they put in every day."
According to Lloyd, IHOP in Tumon is only the second of its kind, a new concept store that the owners began to roll out last year.
Walking into IHOP in Tumon provides a different dining experience for customers compared to the location in Tamuning and other sister restaurants around the world.
With a California beach theme, IHOP in Tumon renders a chilled atmosphere and friendly staff to match. The unique location also offers other interesting features such as its juice bar, which has a large selection of fresh fruit juices, fresh fruit smoothies, frappes, milkshakes and even sangrias.
"I would say it has a very unique look when compared to traditional IHOP restaurants," Lloyd said. "It offers a fresh, modern look and perfectly captures the unique IHOP experience."
Home to the world famous original buttermilk pancakes, Lloyd said, IHOP is the place to go for all breakfast classics, along with inventive creations that provide diners with a unique breakfast experience unlike any other.
IHOP offers more than 14 different varieties of pancakes including Buttermilk, Chocolate Chip, Harvest Grain ‘N Nut, New York Cheesecake and its famous fruit-topped pancakes.
Breakfast champions can also try other signature menu items in the ranks of omelettes, such as the Big Steak Omelette, chock full of tender and tasty strips of steak, hash browns, fresh green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar cheese
Another morning meal hit is the big Breakfast Sampler, savory enough to get any diner ready for the day ahead. It includes two eggs, two hickory-smoked bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two pieces of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and golden hash browns.
Lunch, dinner options also on the menu
However, even with breakfast served all day, IHOP also offers unique lunch and dinner items that were recently introduced at the known breakfast eatery. A special limited edition menu also constantly changes, offering diners something different all the time, Respicio said.
"IHOP serves breakfast classics that everyone loves to eat no matter what time of the day, but you can also find something you might not expect to find in a traditional IHOP," Respicio said. "We wanted to give people an option to experience something new and we’re excited for people to try it out."
For lunch or dinner, IHOP serves certified Angus beef steaks, baby back ribs, juicy burgers and fresh salads, Lloyd added. To round off IHOP’s now wide variety of meals, the eatery also just launched an all-new seafood menu featuring live lobster and seafood pastas.
On the local side, diners looking for a home-style meal without the extra effort of cooking can order beef tapa, bangus and eggplant, pork and chicken tocino and pork longanisa.
A signature Chamorro Hash Brown Stack is also available, with golden hash browns topped with Chamorro sausage, and an over-medium egg with country gravy.
All in all, IHOP’s introduction to Guam has brought a new love of breakfast for island residents looking to sample a wide variety of pancakes, omeletts, crepes, and other lunch, dinner and even dessert options.
"It's cliché to say, but everything on the menu is someone's favorite dish," Lloyd said. "It really just comes down to what you're in the mood for, but no matter what that is, we'll have something for you here at IHOP Pleasure Island."