IHOP Introduces Nationwide Biscuits Menu to Combat Slowing Sales
IHOP, known for its pancakes, is expanding its menu nationwide to include biscuits for the first time ever. The Dine Brands chain has been diversifying its offerings, including burritos and savory crepes, in response to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The new menu items aim to attract diners during lunch and dinner hours and increase takeout orders. Despite these efforts, IHOP has struggled to offset cautious consumer spending. In the latest quarter, same-store sales only grew by 2.1%, and sister brand Applebee's reported a decline of 1%. As a result, shares of Dine Brands have fallen by 25% this year.
Starting Monday, IHOP hopes to boost sales with its biscuits menu, which was previously available only in certain regions. The new lineup features a variety of options, including a buttermilk biscuit, breakfast biscuit sandwiches with bacon, cheese, and eggs, a chicken biscuit sandwich with pickle chips and country gravy, and a strawberries and cream biscuit filled with cheesecake mousse and syrup. The breakfast biscuit sandwich, priced at $7 with a choice of side, aims to appeal to budget-minded consumers.
IHOP Chief Marketing Officer Kieran Donahue expressed confidence in the national appeal of the biscuits menu, citing consumer research. The chain also made improvements to its biscuit recipe, resulting in a flaky texture with a satisfying crunch. Biscuit sandwiches have been growing in popularity, with Chick-fil-A and Wendy's incorporating them into their menus. Although biscuits have become less prevalent on menus overall, they have gained popularity as sides and appetizers.
IHOP has crafted its biscuits menu to be versatile, offering options that can be enjoyed for breakfast or as a dessert. Additionally, the chain ensured that the biscuits are suitable for takeout, as a significant portion of IHOP's sales come from to-go orders. By expanding its menu to include biscuits and catering to consumer preferences, IHOP aims to revitalize its sales and attract a broader customer base.
Conclusion: Implications for New Businesses
IHOP's strategic move to introduce a nationwide biscuits menu in response to slowing sales provides a valuable lesson for new businesses. It underscores the importance of flexibility and adaptability in business strategy, particularly in response to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors.
Adapting to Market Changes
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly altered consumer spending patterns, prompting businesses to adapt their strategies. IHOP's diversification into different food categories, including biscuits, is a clear example of this adaptation. For new businesses, this highlights the need to be agile and responsive to market changes.
Understanding Consumer Preferences
IHOP's decision to introduce a biscuits menu was based on consumer research, demonstrating the importance of understanding and catering to consumer preferences. New businesses should invest in market research to better understand their target customers and tailor their offerings accordingly.
Maximizing Sales Opportunities
IHOP's biscuits menu is designed to be versatile and suitable for takeout, reflecting the company's efforts to maximize sales opportunities. This is a reminder for new businesses to consider all potential sales channels and ensure their products or services are suitable for different consumption modes.
In conclusion, IHOP's introduction of a nationwide biscuits menu offers valuable insights for new businesses. By being adaptable, understanding consumer preferences, and maximizing sales opportunities, new businesses can effectively navigate market challenges and drive growth.