March 2, 2011

IHOP Sales on National Pancake Day

The chain's president told, Pancake purveyor IHOP has momentum in 2011 and is putting a challenging restaurant environment behind it. On a telephonic interview, IHOP has "weathered this storm better than most, Jean Birch said." The dinner segment is growing and IHOP is having some success touting low calorie options.

Sales at IHOP restaurants open at least a year rose 1.1 % in the fourth quarter in the U.S. The improvement was primarily due to the limited-time offer Fall Festival, as well as the promotion of Trick or Treat All You Can Eat Pancakes. Higher average spending helped offset a decline in guest traffic.

IHOP is encouraging more of its franchisees to stay open around the clock to compete with Waffle House and other all night establishments. About two thirds of the company's restaurants remain open 24 hours a day.

"Specially, there's a bit of business to be had overnight," said Birch, who was in Atlanta to celebrate National Pancake Day on Tuesday. During the day, IHOP offered a free short stack of pancakes to guests and encouraged them to donate to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and all other local charities.

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