IHOP launched a new Burritos & Bowls menu category Tuesday. The lineup is designed to be takeout- and delivery-friendly, and the six items span breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Our new Burritos & Bowls bring our guests a new, convenient, portable format, which is now more important than ever,” said Brad Haley, CMO of IHOP. “We see this launch as part of our continued prioritization of the p.m. dayparts by offering both a.m. and p.m. options.”
While two of the items—The Classic and Country Breakfast—tap IHOP’s breakfast-heavy menu for ingredients, VP of Culinary Scott Randolph had to source some new SKUs to “diversify and add flavors to each of the burritos and bowls,” he said.
“We brought in a brand-new tortilla to really deliver on the authentic burrito experience,” said Randolph. “We also brought in a new rice medley for our p.m. offerings, including the New Mexico Chicken and Spicy Shredded Beef options.”
In addition to introducing new ingredients, he also cross-utilized current ingredients in innovative ways. For example, Randolph combined poblano peppers and queso to make a dipping sauce for the Spicy Poblano Fajita and Spicy Shredded Beef, and added gravy from the entrée side of the menu to the Country Breakfast burrito and bowl.
The Southwest Chicken and New Mexico Chicken are both geared to lunch and dinner, but the former incorporates scrambled eggs and the latter, hickory-smoked bacon—both IHOP breakfast staples. Other ingredients, such as avocados, fajita vegetables and cheddar and Jack cheeses were already in-house.
All options can be ordered as either a burrito or a bowl. Prices start at $5.99 and the six variations are permanent menu items, not LTOs.
During the R&D process, Randolph and his team tested a lot of different combinations “to select the best performing and create the most broadly appealing and diverse lineup for all-day appeal,” he said. Another priority—to offer IHOP customers a range of spice levels. “We bring the heat with the Spicy Poblano Fajita or consumers can try The Classic for more traditional flavors,” said Randolph.
After the COVID-19 pandemic began, the culinary team did re-evaluate the items to fit with current consumer demands for comforting foods, craveable ingredients and easy portability.
“We always test our items to make sure the to-go execution is flawless, but there’s no doubt portability and ensuring the integrity of our food have become more important than ever,” said Haley. With this new lineup, IHOP also brought in new foil wrappers to keep the burritos warm in transit, and new labels to let customers know what’s inside.
Although the burritos and bowls were developed for portability, all are available for on-premise dining as well.
Looking ahead to 2021, IHOP is continuing its focus on developing menu items that travel well for off-premise consumption, said Haley. “You’ll also see our focus continue to meet guests’ needs for comfort foods as we continue navigating the new normal, and we’ll continue our IHOPPY Hour promotion, offering a variety of popular menu items at an unbeatable value.”