IHOP is retiring its fast-casual Flip’d by IHOP brand after opening four locations in a little less than two years.
The pancake chain won’t be opening any new Flip’d stores, and three of the existing restaurants appeared to be closed Thursday.
The company didn’t specify why it’s shutting down the concept, but said the decision came after evaluating the results of what it called a pilot.
“The Flip’d by IHOP concept was piloted to test and learn how to make the guest experience for off-premise dining more enjoyable,” an IHOP spokesperson said in an email. “Our learnings from this pilot will inform how we iterate going forward.”
Flip’d was initially pitched as a new development option for franchisees that allowed them to enter denser, urban markets, though it was ultimately targeted to suburbs and nontraditional locations as well. It was part of a push by IHOP to double its unit count and was designed to capitalize on the growth in to-go business during the pandemic.
Flip’d had a much smaller footprint than a traditional IHOP and required fewer employees to operate. It offered a large menu of IHOP favorites across all three dayparts with an emphasis on grab-and-go. Signatures like pancakes and French toast were reimagined as bowls, and there was a lineup of handhelds like breakfast sandwiches, burgers and chicken tenders.
Customers could order from kiosks or a cashier, and there was limited seating for those who wanted to dine in.
Though off-premise was the focus, franchisees of Flip’d’s New York City location told Restaurant Business last year that 60% of their business was coming from dine-in.
The first Flip’d opened in September 2021 in Lawrence, Kan., followed by the New York store that December.
As of Thursday, neither of those locations were listed on Flip’d’s website, nor were they accepting online orders. No one picked up the phone at the Kansas restaurant.
A third Flip’d, in Silver Spring, Md., closed Thursday, Source of the Spring reported. The fourth store, in Cincinnati, was apparently still open.
A spokesperson did not respond to a question about the status of the four restaurants.
Flip’d was part of a class of limited-service offshoots from full-service chains that also included Hooters’ Hoots, Aussie Grill by Outback and B-Dubs Wings Express from Buffalo Wild Wings.
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