'IHOP' is changing its name to 'IHOb', and everybody is very confused
As you and every other American within spitting distance of a strip mall knows, IHOP stands for the International House of Pancakes. But, the chain announced Monday, it is replacing the P with a B and becoming IHOb, the International House of....something.
"For 60 pancakin’ years, we’ve been IHOP. Now, we’re flippin’ our name to IHOb. Find out what it could b on 6.11.18. #IHOb." You might ask: What could be more integral to the core of its brand than P for pancakes? Bacon? Biscuits? Bruschetta? (Le)Bron Being sweeped? Bacchanalia? Our money is on the incredibly okay option: "breakfast".
Other that the tweeter above, surprisingly, no one was outwardly outraged. Suggestions from the social media patrons included "International house of Bankruptcy", Bancakes, Burgers and even Boners. We'll just have to wait until the 11th.
This could be a pivot to dissaciote themselves with the horrible press IHOP has been in the news for recently. In the past few months, IHOP got a lot of heat for their inability to deal with racially sensitive issues.
An IHOP in Auburn, Maine, was temporarily shut down for employee retraining after a server was overheard asking a group of black teenage customers to pay for their meals in advance. According to the Sun Journal, the encounter was reported by another customer, who said he had observed the incident and wrote a long Facebook post about it. Avery Gagne, from Monmouth, Maine, said he was at the IHOP with his parents when the group of teenagers came in and ordered.
“I heard them order their food and they were respectful and were not loud or rude etc,” Gagne wrote. But then he says he heard the server tell them that they would have to pay upfront for their meal, and she described it as “a new generation thing.”
“The woman who requested they pay upfront came over and began to tell us how it was what management has asked her to do as they have had walkouts, etc,” Gagne said. “She then looked at my parents and I and said it’s not because of their color.”
Another IHOP in Missouri not too long after was forced to apologise after one of their servers used the N-word on a receipt. 19-year-old Maya Thomas received the offensive bill after she picked up her take-out order from the Grandview branch of the pancake joint.
According to her mother, the girl is "very timid and very shy." She says that her daughter knew about the receipt for days, but didn't tell her mom as she was worried that she would make a fuss over it.
“She seemed distraught and upset when she showed it to me,” her mom, who spoke on her behalf, told the Kansas City Star. “And of course it got me p*ssed.” After calling up to chain to complain, Maya then received another slap in the face as they sent her a $10 gift card in the mail - an action that changed her outlook on the incident.
“I think that’s really what made her mad,” her mother said. “Of all the things you could call someone, you call them that. And then the way you deal with it is by giving them 10 dollars?”
Both incidents were posted online to quick virality. IHOP issused statements to both but they resemble mere plasters on the giant gash that is the inability to treat everyone the same. Will a name change make any difference to the brand? We'll have to wait and see.