IHOP just reported the highest sales in a decade.
Despite a slump in the casual dining industry, sales are up 9% over the past two years.
“70% of Americans wish that restaurants would serve breakfast all day long,” Julia Stewart, CEO of parent company DineEquity, told investors on a recent conference call. “And importantly, IHOP has been doing so for almost 57 years.”
The brand made a series of changes to successfully attract new customers and get existing ones to order more.
1. Redesigned menu
IHOP redesigned its menu to include “add a side” boxes next to the entrees, Stewart said. The placement makes it more likely that customers will be enticed to order more food.
The redesigned menu also includes photos of the entrees next to the items. This keeps the diner’s attention more than blocks of text.
Finally, IHOP says getting rid of some items has helped declutter its menu and drive sales.
IHOP now offers 140 items, down from 180. Joe’s Crab Shack has also benefitted from cutting menu items.
2. New logo
IHOP designed a new logo that appears to be smiling.
“We look at the old logo, and we see a brand-corporate face,” IHOP VP of marketing Kirk Thompson told Fast Company. “We look at the new logo, and we see literally the humanity and comfort of being at an IHOP.”
The company is in the process of changing out signs to display the new logo.
According to executies, the new logo paid off in the most recent quarter.
3. Pancakes for pennies
For its 57th anniversary in July, IHOP sold a short stack of pancakes for 57 cents.
This tactic helped IHOP become one of the top trending topics on Facebook and Instagram that day, according to Stewart, resulting in one billion social media impressions.
Promotions like this help bring in new customers and make existing ones feel more loyal to the brand.
4. Targeting “breakfastarians”
In May, IHOP launched a new advertising campaign targeting “breakfastarians,” or people who eat breakfast all day.
This demographic is important because 50% of breakfast orders at IHOP happen at lunch or dinner, according to executives.
The campaign encourages people to eat breakfast foods at all hours, a profitable venture for IHOP.
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