IHOP made a surprising announcement recently. The restaurant said it was going to temporarily change its name from International House of Pancakes to International House of Burgers (IHOb). The name change, although temporary, had many people upset. So, why would IHOP go through all the trouble of changing its name to IHOb, especially when its known for pancakes?
Here are the surprising reasons IHOP is also becoming an international house of burgers.
After teasing the name change on social media, IHOP made the big reveal in June 2018. A week before, IHOP shared the last letter in the company’s name would be a “b” instead of a “p.” They encouraged fans to guess what the “b” would stand for. Most fans guessed the “b” would stand for breakfast or brunch, since that’s what the restaurant is known for. However, we now know that wasn’t the case. It was later announced the “b” would stand for burgers, much to just about everyone’s surprise.
Next: Um, what?
That’s right, burgers. In a statement, IHOP’s team said the name change was a celebration of the arrival of their new Ultimate Steakburgers. The restaurant recently released seven new burgers. The press release boasted the new burgers were made with USDA choice, Black Angus ground beef and topped with a Brioche bun. IHOP picked some interesting names for the new burgers. Some of the most interesting ones are Jalapeño Kick, Mega Monster, and Cowboy BBQ.
Next: This is what’s happening.
What’s going on here?
IHOP anticipated it would get lots of questions about the name change. They addressed the confusion by saying in a statement they wanted to show they’re just as dedicated to hamburgers as they are to pancakes. Said the IHOP team: “To show the brand is as serious about burgers as it is about its world-famous pancakes, it’s flipped the “p” to a “b” in their iconic name for the time being, including its Twitter handle.” However, there’s more to the story. We’ll get to that later.
Next: No one saw this coming.
The people of Twitter had a meltdown. Many were upset about the news and didn’t hold back their feelings. Apparently, not everyone was aware the name change was temporary. Hundreds of angry, confused, and at times, humorous reactions were posted to Twitter.
Even model Chrissy Teigen weighed in. In one tweet she says, “IHOb sure loves going all in on one food item.” She then followed up with this tweet: “IHOb is the guy who gets a face tattoo of the girl’s name after 1 date.” Wendy’s, Burger King, Denny’s, White Castle, and Whataburger also joined in on the IHOP roast.
Next: It worked.
IHOP’s plan worked because stocks rose
All the fuss about burgers worked for IHOP. Fans were enraged, but the marketing team got what they wanted. This had to be one of the restaurant’s best publicity stunts. IHOP knew it would cause a stir with the news but decided to take a risk anyway. This bold move paid off. Shares of Dine Brands Global, IHOP’s parent company, rose 2.6% after the announcement of the name change, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Next: Surprising reasons IHOP became IHOb.
Some see carbs as the enemy
Some calorie-conscious customers began moving away from the restaurant, so IHOP decided to make a drastic change. Jack Ablin, founding partner and chief investment officer of Cresset Wealth Advisers, told The Wall Street Journal high-carb offerings might have been off-putting for dieters. “They recognize that consumers are backing away from carbs, and I can’t think of anything more carb-ish than pancakes,” said Ablin.
Next: Show me the burger.
Consumers will cough up more cash for the perfect hamburger
Some people will pay top dollar for a good burger, and IHOP is trying to get in on the action. Paul Reynish, chief executive of burger chain Five Guys International, told BBC customers are willing to give up more of their cash and wait longer for a fancy hamburger. He notes this is a big change from a few years ago when people just wanted something to eat that was fast and cheap. Now, consumers want the best and they will pay money to get exactly what they want.
Next: A hard sell.
It’s been tough to get customers in the door after lunch
It’s not unusual to see a line form outside IHOP in the mornings, especially on the weekends. However, the chain hasn’t had as much luck during lunch and dinner time. The lunch and dinner menu has proven to be a tough sell. “While restaurants like IHOP are able to get customers through the door in the wee morning hours, keeping them coming after 11 a.m. has been a struggle,” reports CNBC.
Next: Will IHOP become the new king of burgers?
Can IHOP win the burger game?
Some don’t think IHOP has a chance. The market for hamburger chains is already glutted, so IHOP might have a tough time becoming a major player. Dave Lutz, head of ETF trading at JonesTrading, told The Wall Street Journal he doesn’t think a name change will be enough to help IHOP become the go-to place for hamburgers. “To be honest with you, the burger space seems to be so crowded, they’re going to have to come up with a heck of a burger to be known as the ‘House of Burgers’ from an investment standpoint,” said Lutz.
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