Backlash over IHOP name change
FEW expected it to be burgers. After tantalising fans for a week, IHOP, the ubiquitous blue-roofed American chain which promises pancakes 24 hours a day, said on Monday it was changing its name to IHOb – International House of Burgers – in a ploy to expand its market image beyond breakfast.
The move sent pancake breakfast lovers into a furore and sparked snarky replies from rivals already rooted in the burger business.
“Why is ihop going thru a mid life crisis,” asked one Twitter user.
The venerable chain, 60 years old this year, has long offered sandwiches and burgers across its nearly 1,800 locations.
But the name – International House of Pancakes – has always been rooted in their calorie-laden breakfast standards: pancakes, waffles and french toast.
IHOP baited the public a week ago saying it was changing its last initial to “b” in a rebranding exercise.
Revealing “burgers” on Monday, the company said it was a temporary change to celebrate the release of its new “Ultimate Steakburgers” menu category.
The move reaped taunts from well-established fast food chains.
Whataburger tweeted: “As much as we love our pancakes, we’d never change our name to Whatapancake.”