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IHOPed We Were Done With This But IHOP Is Changing Its Name Again

Let’s not reward this behavior!

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Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

Remember IHOB? It’s okay — lucky, even — if you don’t. It was an absurd attempt to garner attention and sales on behalf of IHOP last summer when the International House of Pancakes (serving flapjacks from exotic locales like the Netherlands and the Olive Garden sense) “changed” its name to the International House of Burgers to promote its burger menu. People cringed. Other brands used it as an opportunity to stunt. It was all very silly.

Well, they’re at it again. IHOP is teasing that, while they’re sticking with the same IHOP acronym, the P will stand for something other than pancakes for a short while. Pork? Pozole? P...avocado toast waffles? Propaganda? We’ll find out next week.

This is exhausting, and we only have ourselves to blame. Because last time, the damn stunt actually worked. IHOP sold four times the amount of burgers than it did before the name change: “Literally everybody in the world now knows that IHOP is now selling burgers,” IHOP’s president, Darren Rebelez, said, and he’s not entirely wrong. Far more people than before are aware that IHOP sells things beyond pancakes and french toast stuffed with various creams!

So, fine. Let us accept that P is for punishment, and this is the brand hellscape we’ve created for ourselves. It’s still not as bad as WcDonald’s.