IHOP launches biscuits nationwide as it fights sluggish sales

For the first time ever, IHOP is making its biscuits menu available nationwide.

IHOP has made its biscuits menu nationwide for the first time.

After cutting its menu in half during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dine Brands franchise, which is best known for its delicious pancakes, now offers a variety of other items, including burritos and savory crepes. The new menu items are aimed at attracting diners for lunch and dinner and increasing take-out orders. IHOP also brought back old favorites like its Cinn-A-Stack Pancakes.

The menu strategy of the chain hasn’t worked to counteract consumers’ cautious behavior. IHOP saw its same-store sales grow just 2.1% in the latest quarter despite higher menu pricing compared to the previous period. Applebee’s, the sister brand, fared worse. It reported a 1% decline in same-store sales for the same time period.

Dine Brands shares have dropped 25% in value this year to $856 Million.

IHOP sales and Dine Brands stock could see a boost starting Monday with its new biscuits menu. It has been selling biscuits in some regions like the South but decided to go national.

New biscuits include a buttermilk one, a biscuit with American cheese and cheese sauce, a biscuit with pickle chips, and a biscuit with chicken and country gravy. There is also a biscuit with strawberries, cream, and cheesecake mousse.

Breakfast biscuit sandwiches with a selection of sides will be offered until September 26th for $7. This is aimed at budget-conscious consumers.

IHOP’s Chief Marketing Officer Kieran Donahue told CNBC consumer research indicated that diners from across the nation would be interested to eat the biscuits of the chain.

She said, “We would not have included this dish on our menu if it didn’t appeal to a wide audience.”

First, the chain improved its biscuit recipe. Donahue says the result is a flaky biscuit with a bit of crunch on top.

According to Datassential’s food and beverage research, biscuit sandwiches are becoming more popular among consumers.

Chick-fil A’s expansion beyond its Southeast region has helped bring the Southern breakfast favorite to the mainstream. When Wendy’s launched its breakfast across the country in early 2021 , croissants and English muffins were used as the base for breakfast sandwiches.

Biscuits aren’t as popular as they once were. According to Datassential, they are available in 11.8% of U.S. restaurant, down from 14% by 2020. Despite their shrinking availability, biscuits continue to be popular as appetizers and sides, according to the firm.

IHOP’s biscuit menu was designed to be flexible in line with this trend. The fresh strawberries and cream cookie, for example, could be used as a sweet dessert or breakfast.

Donahue said the chain also made sure that the biscuits were suitable for take-out orders. IHOP gets more than a fifth its sales from take-out orders.

CNBC: More From CNBC

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