- Pancake chain IHOP is launching a new chain called Flip’d, described as “IHOP in fast-casual mode.”
- Flip’d will sell IHOP food with a twist, and will be focused on convenience and fast service.
- Menu items include burritos, chicken sandwiches, wraps, egg sandwiches, and pancakes served in bowls.
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IHOP President Jay Johns told Insider that Flip’d was “IHOP but different.”
Rather than table service, guests can order from a digital kiosk or directly at the counter, as well as online for collection or delivery.
“Sometimes you want to take your family to an IHOP for a really fun Sunday morning breakfast or brunch, and we’re still there for that,” Johns said.
“But sometimes you don’t have time for a sit-down meal. You want straight IHOP-style food that they’re familiar with, but they want it again on their own terms. I needed to go, I need it delivered. I need it the way I need it.”
Fewer people are dining out for breakfast during the pandemic as many work from home. Delivery and to-go orders now account for around a third of IHOP’s sales, Johns said.
Flip’d will serve its pancakes in bowls.
Like IHOP, the chain will focus on breakfast foods, with its famous buttermilk pancakes at the center of the menu.
But unlike IHOP, many of these will be delivered to customers or eaten on-the-go – so IHOP is choosing to sell its Flip’d pancakes in bowls.
As well as ordering set dishes, like IHOP’s classic Strawberry Banana pancake, customers can also build their own pancake bowls with a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruit, sauces, bacon, egg, and chocolate chips.
Customers can also choose to switch out the pancakes for oatmeal or vanilla Greek yogurt.
Flip’d will sell other breakfast classics, too.
The menu includes a variety of egg-based dishes such as egg sandwiches in brioche buns with a range of toppings.
You can also buy lunch and dinner dishes.
As well as its breakfast menu, Flip’d will also sell a range of burritos, bowls, sandwiches, salads, and wraps.
“Most of the menu items are not going to be what you could get at a regular IHOP,” Johns said.
New dishes include the Garden, a bowl with scrambled eggs, cheesy crispy potatoes, baby arugula, spinach, sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, sliced avocado, and avocado cream, and the Late Night, which is cheesy French fries, topped with diced Black Angus Steakburger, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, pickles, and IHOP sauce.
It will also sell sandwiches with a choice of meat from Black Angus Steakburger, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, and Grilled Chicken Breast.
Hot and cold drinks will be available, too.
These include fresh-pressed orange juice, nitro cold brews, and specialty espresso beverages.
You can still dine in.
Though the restaurants will be much smaller than traditional IHOP locations, customers can still eat their meals on site.
Johns said that the opening times of the restaurants hadn’t been fully decided yet – but he said there was a possibility that some could be 24 hours, like some IHOP sites.
The new chain leans on the pancake giant for its branding.
The similar branding creates a “brand halo” to encourage IHOP fans to try the new restaurants, Johns said.
The first location is set to open in Midtown Manhattan towards the end of July.
After this, the chain hopes to open restaurants in Lawrence, Kansas; Columbus, Ohio; and Dublin, Ohio.
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The pandemic caused IHOP to rethink the launch plan for Flip’d.
IHOP originally planned to launch its first Flip’d site in Atlanta last April, with other restaurants in high-traffic city center spots to follow, but Johns said the pandemic both delayed this and caused IHOP to rethink its strategy.
The chain now plans to open restaurants in a mix of larger metropolitan areas, suburban areas, and what Johns described as “non-traditional venues.” This comes as more companies are letting employees work from home permanently, causing sales to slump for some city-center coffee and restaurant chains that usually target office workers.