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IHOP founder Al Lapin Jr. dies at age 76.

International House of Pancakes founder Al Lapin Jr. died June 16 of cancer at the USC/Norris Center in Los Angeles. He was 76 years old.

His passions as an entrepreneur and restaurant owner began when he developed and operated Coffee Time, a coffee cart business. From this early beginning he would later create one of the nation's best-known dining chains. Lapin opened the first IHOP July 7, 1958 in Toluca Lake, Calif. IHOP and a series of new brands were developed. Orange Julius was acquired and then later sold to allow the company to focus on its core brands such as Love's Restaurants and Copper Penny. In 1976 IHOP Corp. became the successor company to International Industries, Inc. which had changed its name to International House of Pancakes, Inc.

Lapin, who started the company with his brother Jerry, later chose franchising as the method to grow the business after building several of the restaurants.

"Franchising is the most important thing we've learned, and it can be applied to any business," Lapin said in a 1962 speech to the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts reports the Los Angeles Times.

At the end of the company's first quarter in 2004, there were 1,164 locations in 48 states and Canada.

Lapin's involvement in franchising includes serving as chairman of the International Franchise Association when he oversaw Quickprint of America Inc. He also was president of the Southern California Restaurant Association.

Lapin is survived by his second wife, two sons, a brother and three grandchildren.

The family requests that those who wish to make a memorial donation send it to The City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (Duarte) or the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital (Los Angeles).
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Title Annotation:People
Publication:Franchising World
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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