Did the famous International House of Pancakes really just change their name? IHOP or as they are currently called, IHOB sent out a tweet on June 4; the tweet stated that they will be flipping the ‘p’ in their name to a ‘b’. They kept followers curious by telling them to wait until June 11 to find out why this happened – to make matters more interesting they even changed their twitter handle.
However, on Monday the company announced that this is temporary. The ‘b’ which stands for burgers is a marketing strategy for IHOP’s new line-up of seven steak burgers made with black Angus ground beef. Chief marketing officer of IHOP, Brad Haley, stated that this change was made to show consumers how serious they were about their upcoming burgers.
“Burgers are a quintessential, American menu item so it makes perfect sense that IHOP, one of the most iconic, all-American comfort-food brands in the world, would go over the top to create a delicious line-up of quality burgers that hit the spot any time of day,” Head of Culinary, Chef Nevielle Panthaky said in a release.
The question that remains is why a well-known breakfast chain would need to re-brand temporarily? According to MoneyWatch, this could be because the breakfast franchise experienced a 1.9 percent decline in sales. Pancakes might not be as popular or as appealing as burgers. It’s said that 33 percent of total foodservice industry traffic is lunch. Though, IHOP did have some burger options on their menu prior to this, adding an Angus Beef selection might do them well with lunchtime traffic.
A report by Burger Web finds that out of all beef consumed in restaurants, 71 percent is consumed in burger form. In addition to that, roughly 60 percent of all sandwiches sold are burgers.
IHOP isn’t the only franchise that has used Angus burgers in order to gain consumer attention. McDonald’s had recently released their own Angus beef burger called the “Mighty Angus”. This could also be because consumers are looking for more ‘gourmet style’ hamburgers – fresher beef and more flavor is what seems to be most appealing. In fact, it was predicted that by 2021 revenues for top end burgers could double to $10 billion. Millennials seem to make up a big portion of consumers that want these ‘better quality’ burgers.
“They will think of these brands, and not McDonald’s the way the baby boomers have,” Darren Tristano, Technomic President said.
Smaller restaurants’ incorporating gourmet style burgers could be a game changer. IHOP’s twitter responses varied from supportive consumers to confused and angry consumers. However, the marketing did its job – it was everywhere online. Their competition, Wendy’s, seemed to be most upset about this considering their slanderous tweet responses about IHOP. This was similar to their reaction when McDonald’s had introduced their latest burger. Regardless of the support or opposition, IHOP has managed to capture the attention of consumers and manufacturers. Taking notes on this could benefit other manufacturers interested in releasing new burger products.