- IHOP launched its Choice menu Monday with a selection of made-to-order griddle combos, steakburgers and chicken sandwiches, the company said in a press release emailed to Restaurant Dive.
- This menu, which is a permanent addition, can be ordered on-premise and via IHOP’s mobile app and website across all dayparts.
- The chain found 80% of IHOP orders are customized, so a personalization-focused menu addition could drive stronger diner engagement as chains battle for customers’ discretionary spending.
IHOP is focused on innovating its menu offerings to boost sales, introducing a core menu last quarter that outperformed the company’s expectations, IHOP President Jay Johns said during Dine Brands’ Q2 earnings call. The core menu, which features omelets, protein pancakes and premium beverages, is a major growth driver, he said.
The Choice menu will continue to expand, IHOP said in an email to Restaurant Dive. Through Oct. 31, the menu will include Scary Face Pancakes and Pumpkin Spice Pancakes.
IHOP is also continuing to offer its IHOPPY Hour deals at participating locations. As of early August, this value-focused menu is offered in over 85% of IHOP restaurants, Johns said on the call. The menu offers entrees starting at $6, depending on location, and are available after 3 p.m.
The chain is pushing value through its International Bank of Pancakes, a loyalty program the company launched in April, as well. The offering allows customers to collect PanCoins and redeem for food. After four months, the program has over 2 million members, 30% of whom are new to the brand, Johns said on the call.
As part of the Choice menu launch, IHOP also partnered with Microsoft Xbox to provide its loyalty members with exclusive game offers, such as an Xbox Game Pass Unlimited Trial and passes to Forza, Grounded and Party Animals. Loyalty members will have exclusive access to three menu combos named after the games.
IHOP’s sister brand Applebee’s has been building out its menu offerings as well. The brand added products from its Cosmic Wings virtual brand to its main menu in August. The items are available for dine-in and takeout customers instead of just for delivery orders. The chain found the virtual brand had low visibility since it is available to only about 13% of its customers via delivery, so expanding its audience could help drive more traffic to the brand.