• Market Crumbs

IHOP Wants To Be More Than Just A Breakfast Joint


Image via Business Wire

Fast food restaurants have had to fight off competition as long as they've been a fixture on every street corner across America.


We wrote last week about the rush among quick service restaurants to offer a crispy chicken sandwich, even attracting McDonald's, which is venturing beyond its signature burgers into a market that's nearly twice the size of beef.


The latest surprise move in the restaurant space comes from pancake chain IHOP, which introduced a lineup of six different burrito and burrito bowl offerings. IHOP's Burritos & Bowls lineup includes breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings that can each be served in a tortilla or bowl.


IHOP has its sights on popular restaurants like Chipotle and Taco Bell as burritos and bowls continue to increase in popularity, especially as a breakfast item, which threatens IHOP's traditional breakfast offerings. IHOP cited data from Datassentials MenuTrends that shows burritos were the fastest growing breakfast menu penetration category in America pre COVID-19.


The Burritos & Bowls lineup starts at $5.99 as four of the six new menu items include eggs. The lineup includes the Classic, Country Breakfast, Spicy Poblano Fajita and Southwest Chicken, while the New Mexico Chicken and Spicy Shredded Beef are the only variations that don't contain eggs.


"Burritos are the #1 fastest growing breakfast menu items in America so, as the breakfast leader, IHOP needed to create some great ones," IHOP Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley said. "At the same time, we know our guests are looking for menu items that are portable for take-out and delivery, which made our new line of Burritos & Bowls a natural fit."


This isn't the first time IHOP has tried to appeal to a broader customer base by steering away from its reputation as a place to get breakfast. A couple of years ago the company temporarily changed its name to IHOb, with the "b" standing for burgers, as it debuted its new line of all-natural burgers. The creative marketing campaign even helped IHOP quadruple the number of burgers it sold.


IHOP is also trying to attract customers that have depended on take-out and delivery amid the pandemic by highlighting several times in the press release that the Burritos & Bowls lineup can be enjoyed just as easily inside an IHOP or from the comfort of your home.


"While we're eager to welcome our guests to join us back under our blue roofs, we're happy to provide our delicious new Burritos & Bowls, anywhere, for breakfast, lunch or dinner," Haley said.


While few people think of IHOP when it comes to burgers, their burger launch was met with sales quadrupling. The company known for its flapjacks is now hoping to repeat the same success with the introduction of Burritos & Bowls in a highly competitive market.


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