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IHOP has launched a line of burritos and bowls

IHOP rolls out burritos in effort to expand lunch and dinner business and satisfy customers’ need for portability

Also available as bowls, these are permanent additions to the family-dining chain’s menu

IHOP has launched a line of six burritos as part of an ongoing effort to firm up its lunch and dinner dayparts as well as to respond to consumers’ growing need for portability.

Brad Haley, chief marketing officer of the family-dining chain of more than 1,800 restaurants, said the burritos had been in development since before the coronavirus pandemic started, but they do help satisfy the needs of consumers who are spending more time eating at home.

The new items also are available as bowls, which are the burritos without flour tortillas. Pricing starts at $5.99.

Four of the new items are geared toward breakfast:

The Classic: Scrambled eggs with choice of bacon pieces or diced sausage, shredded Jack and cheddar cheeses and hash browns served with a side of salsa   

Country Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, diced ham and sausage, roasted peppers & onions, shredded Jack & cheddar cheese and hash browns, served with a side of country gravy

Spicy Poblano Fajita: Shredded beef, scrambled eggs, poblano and serrano peppers, red peppers & onions, shredded jack & cheddar cheeses, avocado and hash browns with a side of poblano queso

Southwest Chicken: Grilled chicken, scrambled eggs, bacon pieces, green peppers & onions, tomatoes, queso, shredded Jack & cheddar cheeses and avocado and hash browns served with a side of red salsa or green chile salsa

The scrambled eggs in the burritos are made with IHOP's omelet mix, which includes a little of the chain’s buttermilk pancake batter mixed into the eggs. The result is a fluffier product, according to an IHOP spokesperson.

Two of the items are geared toward lunch and dinner:

New Mexico Chicken: Grilled chicken, hickory-smoked bacon pieces, roasted green peppers & onions, tomatoes, queso, shredded Jack & cheddar cheese, avocado and a “rice medley” comprised of brown rice, red rice and black barley, served with a side of red salsa or green chile salsa

Spicy Shredded Beef: Shredded beef, poblano and serrano peppers, roasted red peppers & onions, shredded Jack & cheddar cheeses, avocado and rice medley, served with a side of poblano queso

Haley said this is the fourth step in an ongoing process to attract customers at times other than breakfast. That initiative started in mid-2018 with the launch of a line of premium hamburgers, memorably introduced via social media with a video of the ‘P’ in IHOP’s logo being flipped into a ‘b’.

That was followed in summer of 2019 with the relaunch of IHOP’s buttermilk crispy chicken line.

That was followed by the launch last September of “IHOPPY Hour” specials, with $5 entrees, $3 snacks and sides and drinks for $1-$1.50 between 2 pm and 10 p.m.

Haley said the burritos and bowls are a permanent platform for IHOP, and plans are underway to rotate in different builds as time goes on.

He added that, although franchisees have offered burritos in the past at select locations, this is, as far as he knows, the first time that burritos have been launched systemwide. 

"We can’t find any records that would indicate that we’ve done this before," he said, adding that burritos do seem to be in line with consumers' perception of the brand.

"It’s interesting: In some of the guest insights work that we did during the development … some people assumed that of course IHOP has burritos,” he said.

IHOP is a division of Dine Brands Global, based in Glendale, Calif., which also operates and franchises Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Correction: January 20, 2021
This story has been updated to reflect the fact that IHOP's regular scrambled eggs do not contain pancake batter.
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