Glendale-based IHOP, a family restaurant chain and subsidiary of DineEquity Inc., announced the opening of the first IHOP Express in San Diego’s Gas Lamp District.

The fast casual concept offers a condensed menu of what is offered at a sit-in IHOP establishment and aims to serve customers on the go. Selections are made at a counter and can either be take out or enjoyed in the dining area.

The IHOP Express concept was initially tested on military bases and university campuses, company officials said.

“After extensive testing, we are introducing IHOP Express to provide an exciting new option for guests on the go who want the IHOP experience," said Jean Birch, IHOP President. "Consumers' dining needs vary, and IHOP Express fills an important need by allowing guests to sip, flip and enjoy our famous coffee and buttermilk pancakes, along with other options found only at IHOP Express, in less time."

The launch of IHOP Express is one of the component of the company’s year-long strategy to make its locations more convenient and increase frequency of visits with guests.