The pancake chain wants to appease millennials' eating habits.
Some foods are delivery staples. Pizza, for example, is the original king of the delivery game—with Pizza Hut even recently recommitting to delivery as a top priority. Chinese food is another to-go classic: The cuisine's signature oyster pail takeout containers are practically as iconic as the food itself. But delivery pancakes? Let's just say IHOP may have its work cut out for it with the brand's latest initiative.
During a recent interview, IHOP President Darren Rebelez said the restaurant chain best known for pancakes and other breakfast staples—not the most common meal of the day for ordering in—was indeed looking to tap into the ever-growing and seemingly-insatiable delivery market... even dropping the big "M" word. "Clearly, off-premise dining has become a much bigger trend for all guests, particularly millennials," Rebelez said according to Nation's Restaurant News. IHOP has reportedly already been testing delivery in just a few locations and is currently in talks with food delivery providers (Amazon was named specifically) to conduct a larger test later this year. Some of the chain's restaurants already appear on GrubHub/Seamless.
A number of factors appear to be pushing the pancake purveyor into the delivery game. First, Denny's—one of IHOP's top competitors—launched 24-hour delivery back in May. But second, both IHOP and its parent company DineEquity, which is now also the owner of Applebee's, has seen same-store sales decline as of late. Rebelez explained that a key to IHOP's success is the chain's broad appeal and hopefully delivery will continue to attract younger customers. "One of the things that's unique about IHOP versus a lot of other concepts is that we're multi-generational," he said. "We have guests that span all age demographics and break-ups from small children to their grandparents."
And if delivery for pancakes seems like an odd choice, Rebelez didn't seem concerned. He specifically stated that the plan was "rooted in guest insights." Plus, obviously, IHOP sells more than just pancakes, and even if your local diner already delivers flapjacks, they're certainly not Rooty Tooty.