IHOP generates social media buzz with temporary name change to IHOb

The pancake chain “rebrands” to highlight its new burger menu, with hopes of lifting late-day sales.
IHOb Restaurants

After days of speculation on social media, pancake chain IHOP announced on Monday that it’s temporarily changing its name to IHOb to reflect the casual-dining brand’s focus on its new burger lineup.

IHOP changed its Twitter handle to @IHOb, and it completely rebranded a Los Angeles unit with the updated logo to highlight its seven new Ultimate Steakburgers, including a Big Brunch burger topped with bacon, fried egg, crispy potato, American cheese and burger sauce.

Last week, the chain tweeted, “For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb. Find out what it could b on 6.11.18.”

Nearly 39,000 people took IHOP’s playful Twitter survey, which asked whether the “b” stood for biscuits, bacon, butternut squash or barnacles. (Bacon was the winner.) Others on social media debated whether the “b” might represent breakfast, brunch or bananas.

The Dine Brands chain did not say how long the change would last, noting in a press release that it was “for the time being.”

“The big opportunity for the IHOb brand is to develop our lunch and dinner business,” IHOP Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley told USA Today. “Burgers are the most consumed entree item for men, women and children in America. It made sense to start with burgers.”

IHOP has had burgers on the menu since the brand launched in 1958.

Reaction to the temporary name change on Twitter has been swift—and not particularly positive.

Tweeted Wendy’s: “Remember when you were like 7 and thought changing your name to Thunder BearSword would be super cool? Like that, but our cheeseburgers are still better … Can’t wait to try a burger from the place that decided pancakes were too hard.

IHOb replied: “We don’t want any beef with you, we just want to share our beef with the world.”

“IHOP trying to rebrand to IHOb this late in the game is like your grandpa showing up to Thanksgiving with a vape pen and some tear drop tattoos,” one Twitter user wrote.

“We were really hoping for International House of Beer,” tweeted the Goose Island Beer Co.

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