Got Beef: Wendy's Not A Fan Of IHOP's New Name Change
IHOP, which recently changed its iconic name to IHOb, has revealed what the new consonant stands for: "burgers."
The name change accompanies a line of new burgers at the chain, which is known for breakfast dishes like rainbow sprinkle-filled "cupcake pancakes" and classic buttermilk pancakes. The chain is shifting its emphasis to seven new "steak burgers," which include a cowboy burger with onion rings and bacon and a "mega monster," which is IHOb's answer to McDonald's Big Mac.
Whether or not the IHOb name is only a short-term marketing gimmick, there's a monetary reason why the pancake chain is flipping over on its brand identity: Pancakes aren't selling like hotcakes. IHOP's same-restaurant sales -- or sales at locations open at least a year -- declined 1.9 percent in its most recent fiscal year.
The new name also earned a few burns from another restaurant chain. Wendy's, which is known for its humorous and slightly snarky Twitter account, said it wasn't too worried about the competition: "Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard."
Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard.— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 11, 2018
Can't wait to try a burger from the place that decided pancakes were too hard.— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 11, 2018
We don’t want any beef with you, we just want to share our beef with the world— IHOb (@IHOb) June 11, 2018
"Everyone knows that IHOP makes world-famous pancakes, so we felt like the best way to convince them that we are as serious about our new line of Ultimate Steakburgers as we are about our pancakes was to change our name to IHOb," said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for IHOb restaurants, said in a statement.
IHOP seems to be hedging its bets by saying the IHOb name is "for the time being," suggesting the effort may be more of a marketing ploy rather than a true rebranding campaign.
Fans of the chain, known formally as Dine Equity and which also owns Applebee's, appear unimpressed with the new name. The company disclosed the new IHOb identity last week, although it didn't say what the "b" represented.
"@IHOb so are you still going to have pancakes and breakfast??? Or are you like a lunch place with just burgers? I'm so lost... #IHOP," one consumer wrote on social media.
Other restaurant chains such as Whataburger, Waffle House, Denny's and A&W joined in with a few jabs of their own.
As much as we love our pancakes, we'd never change our name to Whatapancake— Whataburger® (@Whataburger) June 11, 2018
??: Grandpa, do you remember the Great Burger Wars?— Denny's (@DennysDiner) June 11, 2018
??: lol no I was chillin drinkin milkshakes and trying to make sense of Westworld