IHOP Became 'IHOb.' The Internet Had A Lot To Say

Jun 13, 2018
Originally published on June 13, 2018 1:23 pm

IHOP stirred up social media this week when it announced it would be changing its name to IHOb — the B stands for burgers. The move is temporary and meant to promote the chain’s new line of burgers.

Another food chain, Domino’s, has also been getting buzz on social media with its campaign to pave potholes in towns across America to ensure a smooth delivery for its pizzas.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson learns more from Sam Oches (@SamQSR), edtior of QSR magazine, which covers the quick service and casual restaurant industry.

Interview Highlights

On if this was a bad move for IHOP

“No, I don’t think it was. It’s actually kind of funny to see how much people are piling on. This was really just kind of gift-wrapped for a lot of brands. Everybody from Burger King to Red Robin to DiGiorno Pizza, was even tweeting stuff. I really don’t think it was a bad move. I mean, we’re all talking about IHOP. And that’s really, at the end of the day, what they wanted.”

On whether the buzz will translate to sales

“I think it should. I mean, I saw that they had 8 billion impressions on social media this week from this marketing campaign. So imagine that, I mean 8 billion impressions, all the eyeballs they’re going to get in front of. I absolutely think at least in the short term it will probably drive people into the restaurants.

“They’re certainly not going to own this market. But when you think about the fact that IHOP does about 50 percent of their business in breakfast, and then the rest of that’s between lunch and dinner, what they want to do is bump lunch and dinner. And so I don’t think they’re necessarily out to own the burger market. But if they can at least bump their lunch and dinner business, then I think they can call this a win.”

On another food chain publicity stunt: Domino’s offering to fill potholes

“This is kind of interesting, because Domino’s has been on an absolute tear for almost a decade. You know ever since 2009 when they they said very publicly that they thought their pizza sucked. They have just been, they’ve been cruising, and just this year they overcame Pizza Hut to become the No. 1 pizza brand in America, which is really just astounding to see how far they’ve come.

“So for this campaign, I thought it was a little unusual. But Domino’s is really trying to be the pizza brand of choice for Americans, and so, hey, if they can pave some roads and make it easier access, then all for it.”

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