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IHOP says ‘b’ is for ‘burger’

Family-dining chain aims to drive lunch and dinner traffic with reformulated menu item

IHOP is making a major push into the lunch and dinner dayparts with the launch Monday of a reformulated line of hamburgers.

After teasing its social media followers since Wednesday, when it showed a dramatic video of the “p” in its logo flipping upside down to become a “b,” the 1,750-unit subsidiary of Dine Brands International Inc. revealed that the “b” did not stand for “breakfast,” “biscuits,” “bacon,” or other guesses made by the more than 30,000 people who engaged with the brand in recent days, but for burgers, the most popular entrée in the United States for both lunch and dinner.

Bret Thorn

At a preview of the new burgers, called Ultimate Steakburgers, IHOP chief marketing officer Brad Haley told NRN that the new formulation, made with USDA Choice Black Angus beef, was being introduced as an attempt to drive traffic at lunch and dinner. IHOP’s burgers previously arrived in restaurants as preformed frozen patties, Haley said. The new version, although still frozen, arrive in large logs that are thawed and shaped into looser patties. 

Nevielle Panthaky, vice president of culinary innovation at Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP, said the burgers are pressed down onto the griddles to create juicy patties with a high level of browning on the surface, and are sprinkled with a new proprietary seasoning.

Haley said he believed that if customers tried the burgers, they’d be convinced of their superior quality, and that would help drive traffic during dayparts other than breakfast. To encourage trial, the burgers are being offered for an unspecified limited time at the promotional price of $6.99, with unlimited fries and a drink, at participating locations.

The seven burger builds are:

The Classic: A traditional build of a beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and new proprietary Steakburger sauce

The Classic with Bacon: The traditional build, plus bacon

Big Brunch: Burger patty with bacon, a fried egg, hash browns, American cheese and steakburger sauce

Bret Thorn

Cowboy BBQ: Burger patty, two battered and fried onion rings, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a steak-sauce-like barbecue sauce 

Jalapeño Kick: Burger patty, sautéed jalapeños, Serrano peppers, onions, bacon, pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and jalapeño mayonnaise 

Mushroom & Swiss: Burger patty topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, Swiss cheese and mayonnaise

Mega Monster: Two burger patties, American and white cheddar cheeses, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and Steakburger sauce 

The bacon and brioche buns remain the same as in IHOP’s previous burger line. 

The chain is also promoting the new burgers by temporarily changing its name to IHOb, including the complete rebranding Monday of a flagship location in Hollywood, Calif., with new IHOb signage. The new burger menus across the country also sport IHOb branding.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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