Full disclosure: I am a Waffle House man. I like my diners with a bit of grit—its character on full display in the form of well-worn booths from late night sustenance, the loud clatter of skillets on the stove, the sizzle of frozen beef hitting the cook top. It’s a southern staple, and it never lacks for personality—or personalities. Never change, Waffle House.
But change? Well, IHOP certainly did that yesterday. The company has been teasing a rebrand to IHOb for weeks now, and on Monday The International House of Pancakes finally announced its conversion over to the International House of Breakfast Burgers. Burgers?
Burgers. If you feel like you’ve been duped, you’re not alone. Pancakes are the marquee food offering at IHOP, but it’s always offered a wide variety of omelets, waffles, and French toast. The transition over to the International House of Breakfast seemed like a natural extension to feature its other items. But alas: we got burgers.
And we’ve bone to pick, as well. For us serious about our late-night breakfasts, we don’t like surprises. We want our staples, we want them piping hot, and we want familiarity. Waffle House has offered burgers for decades, but they never felt like an interloper or a feature that outshined the company’s namesake. IHO(b) had to know this was going to go poorly, but it may have gone worse than they presumed.
Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard.
— Wendy's (@Wendys) June 11, 2018
👦: Grandpa, do you remember the Great Burger Wars?
👴: lol no I was chillin drinkin milkshakes and trying to make sense of Westworld
— Denny's (@DennysDiner) June 11, 2018
Inspired by the International House of Burgers announcement, we are also changing our name (Please do not ask what it means — we don’t know either.) pic.twitter.com/0HPQtQirHn
— A&W Restaurants (@awrestaurants) June 11, 2018
The inter-brand Twitter roasting continued from there. It’s important to note that this is only a temporary rebrand—essentially a PR stunt to highlight IHOb’s new burgers—but one has to question the damage done to your brand when your new rollout is laughed off the internet. I guess we’ll see. If you’d like to discuss this further, I’ll be up at Waffle House.