“This is not the regular IHOP typical experience. So, what do people in those areas that we’re looking to develop, what do they need?” Johns says. “Let’s develop something that IHOP fans who don’t have the ability to use us in some large markets [can access]. What do they need from us? That’s what it’s really about and that’s where we started this journey.”
While still in development, Johns says the upcoming restaurant will “probably be in the neighborhood” of 2,000–2,500 square feet. Just shrinking down units and focusing on convenience, though, are not revolutionary fast-casual building blocks. That’s where the daypart focus comes into play, Johns says.
Flip’d’s menu will borrow inspiration from IHOP favorites, including its Buttermilk pancakes. But there will unique, to-go elements mixed in. For instance, Pancake Bowls, with made-to-order pancakes served in a bowl and finished with toppings like fresh berries and sauces or savory ingredients, including scrambled eggs, hickory smoked bacon pieces, and jack and cheddar cheeses.
Other menu items will include:
- A Build Your Own Pancake Bar with a choice of made-in-house pancakes or oatmeal as a base and a variety of mix-ins and toppings from the Top It Off bar, such as fresh blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple; fruit compotes; chocolate chips; caramel sauce
- Egg combos with choice of breakfast meats and an assortment of Egg Sandwiches made with two scrambled eggs and premium toppings on a toasted Brioche bun
- A variety of made-to-order breakfast burritos and bowls with options like the Bacon Temptation with two eggs, hickory-smoked bacon, roasted tomatoes and queso over crispy breakfast potatoes, or The Garden with baby arugula, sautéed mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and avocado cream sauce over crispy breakfast potatoes.
- Ultimate Sandwiches with choice of an all-natural Black Angus Steakburger, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken from all-natural breast meat, or grilled chicken breast.
- Grab-and-go salads and wraps, freshly-baked goods and more
- Freshly-squeezed orange juice, Signature Coffee Brews, including Nitro and specialty espresso beverages
The final item is a critical one to circle, Johns says. It goes back to his previous comment. The breakfast counter-service landscape is massive. Between Dunkin’ and Starbucks alone, there were 24,244 restaurants in the U.S. at the end of 2018. Together, they generated north of $28 billion in domestic systemwide sales.
Yet as far as breakfast-driven quick-serves that focus on food, the category isn’t nearly as saturated. There are bagel chains, like Einstein Bros. and Bruegger’s. Panera also comes to mind, but even it pushes more than 75 percent of its business after 11 a.m. Fast-food giant McDonald’s reports about 25 percent of sales from breakfast items, while Burger King and Taco Bell have progressed further into the space in recent years. Wendy’s also announced recently it’s taking another crack at breakfast with a national launch in Q1 2020. In its case, the chain hopes to hit 10 percent of mix, or a roughly $1 billion sales opportunity.