Pancakes Plus

Discussion
Jul 14, 2005
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Eric Brito doesn’t go to IHOP to get a salad, but the chain that made its reputation selling breakfast is hoping that even if he isn’t open to purchasing anything other than country fried steak and eggs, others will see the company’s restaurants as a place where they can go for a great tasting shrimp Caesar salad, brie sandwich or other lunch and dinner dish.

According to a report earlier in the week from the Los Angeles Times, IHOP rolled out its first major menu revamp in over ten years last month.

CEO Julia Stewart is counting on the new menu, a chain-wide remodeling program and a national advertising campaign to get consumers thinking of IHOP as a place to go for something other than pancakes and eggs.

Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree with IHOP’s current marketing direction? Regardless of whether you agree with the direction or not, what does the chain
need to do if it is to get current customers and those who aren’t currently patrons to think of the chain as some place to go for something other than breakfast?

George Anderson – Moderator

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6 Comments on "Pancakes Plus"


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Mark Lilien
Guest
15 years 7 months ago

The change would be great if they don’t alienate their traditional customers. People often like to eat in groups and it’s reasonable to assume that group members may have diverse tastes. I’ve been to several steakhouses that serve fish and even vegetarian main courses. Let’s hope that the “diversity items” are as well prepared as the traditional items.

Brian Numainville
Guest
15 years 7 months ago

As a somewhat frequent IHOP customer, I think this is a smart move. While on one hand, yes, they could attempt to be a leader solely of breakfast foods. But on the other hand, this provides more choice, especially to busy families who want to go out to eat where one kid wants breakfast, the other wants lunch and the parents both want dinner. They can still emphasize breakfast but offer more — seems like a sound idea to me.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 7 months ago

How sad this is. I remember the first IHOP outlets opening in Queens xx years ago. We could have pancakes any time of the day or evening. A great alternative to ice cream or burgers after the movies on a date when we were too young and innocent to hang out in bars. Actually, come to think of it, perhaps the obesity epidemic started here. Where else in the world do you go and eat a huge snack late at night to round off the evening? Sorry, I digress. My reaction is purely nostalgic but I would like to see IHOP stick to what they have always done best of all.

Marilyn Raymond
Guest
Marilyn Raymond
15 years 7 months ago
Interesting topic! Without the consumer input that IHOP hopefully did, I would say they may have missed an opportunity to be a real leader in the food service industry. A leader selling these core product favorites — eggs, meats, waffles/pancakes, fruit (sauces) — ANY TIME of the day. And to invent wonderful new food options that would be great alternatives to traditional LUNCH foods — for instance, a Western Omelet burrito with pancakes as the wrap. As much as one can say that IHOP has sold INDULGENT food — hence the shrimp and brie — they have also sold memories of how life was and should be. I hope they really took a good look at the indulgent BREAKFAST foods and realized how many consumers are missing these foods in their diets because of lifestyle changes. And how wonderful to still have cravings satisfied at any occasion. Firms like Kellogg’s (new ad for Special K as evening snack) supports what researcher have known for years — many traditional foodstuffs are eaten at non-conventional times of… Read more »
Charlie Moro
Guest
Charlie Moro
15 years 7 months ago

I admit to being an IHOP fan, but I see places like Bob Evans busy throughout the day. So there needs to be more than breakfast, and they have the base to build from…keep it simple.

Eric Daniel
Guest
Eric Daniel
15 years 7 months ago
IHOP, according to golden rules of brand building, has taken another dubious step. As a consultant to retail and restaurant brands, we work every day to help our clients understand the need for and to then create a proprietary brand position. When I consider the changes to IHOP over the past year, I am disheartened to see them giving up precious positioning to join the pool of competition. The breakfast business is like the pizza business in that a great majority of the dollars nationally go to local “mom & pop” shops. The national and regional competitors are few. It seems as though IHOP should have flexed its positioning muscle rather than taking strides into the center of the pool. IHOP held the advantage over their competition in terms of brand assets: their name, distinctive architecture and identity and known product. They are among the few brands in the world whose name can be used in a sitcom or other cultural device because of its wide recognition (because of its longevity and uniqueness). IHOP is… Read more »
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