IHOP is finally ready to debut its new restaurant concept, Flip’d, in New York City this July. Think of it as a bit like IHOP to go.
Flip’d will have its own dedicated menu featuring breakfast items like pancake bowls, egg sandwiches and coffee, as well as lunch or dinner options like burrito bowls. Unlike IHOP, Flip’d doesn’t offer table service. Instead, meals are designed to be portable and can easily be delivered or taken to go.
The first Flip’d store has been a long time coming. IHOP first announced the concept in 2019, and said it would open the first location in spring 2020 — but the pandemic delayed proceedings.
The pandemic hit casual dining chains particularly hard. In 2020, sales at IHOP restaurants open for at least a year plunged nearly 33%. The restaurant chain had to quickly pivot to delivery and to-go orders. Now, delivery and takeout make up about 30% of IHOP’s orders, IHOP president Jay Johns told CNN Business.
The increase of off-premise orders during the pandemic led IHOP to rethink its approach to Flip’d, Johns explained. Because so many of IHOP’s customers have been interested in the brand’s to-go options, the chain decided to test the Flip’d model in more areas.
“We first planned this in high traffic city centers,” he explained, to appeal to customers who might not have time for a sit-down breakfast at an IHOP. Now, IHOP plans to test out Flip’d in suburban areas, as well. It’s also going to test some out in convenience stores, Johns said, where customers can grab their orders for the road. Possible locations include Lawrence, Kansas, Columbus, Ohio and Dublin, Ohio.
IHOP plans to make future plans for Flip’d based on how the restaurants perform, Johns said.
Other casual dining brands are also looking to reach customers in new ways. Applebee’s, which is also owned by IHOP’s parent company Dine Brands, has launched an online brand to sell Cheeto-flavored wings.