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IHOP becomes IHOB -- and internet has way too much fun: ‘International House of Bankruptcy’?

  • Author: Don Sweeney, The Sacramento Bee
  • Updated: June 11, 2018
  • Published June 11, 2018

IHOP is rebranding to IHOB - promoting burgers to draw the post-breakfst crowd. (Dreamstime)

IHOP is now IHOB (well, sort of) and the internet’s not exactly down with it.

After teasing a mysterious new logo with a “b” instead of a “p” online last week, International House of Pancakes announced Monday it was changing its name to International House of Burgers.

Intended to promote a new line of hamburgers as the restaurant chain tries to branch out from its breakfast niche, the switch is part of a marketing campaign and not an actual rebranding, company officials told CNN.

“We are definitely going to be IHOP,” Darren Rebelez, president of IHOP, told the network. “But we want to convey that we are taking our burgers as seriously as our pancakes.”

Even so, the chain’s competitors -- and consumers -- didn’t take long to register their own, often humorous, takes on the supposed new name.

Wendy’s, always quick off the mark to throw some online shade at competitors, jumped out with a Twitter post declaring, “Remember when you were like 7 and thought changing your name to Thunder BearSword would be super cool? Like that, but our cheeseburgers are still better.”

Asked by a consumer if the burger chain planned to cede its market to the new IHOB, Wendy’s later replied, “Not really afraid of the burgers from a place that decided pancakes were too hard.”

A&W, Whataburger, Chili’s and Denny’s piled on with facetious name-changes and gibes about the new IHOB’s burgers.

And here is how Burger King responded to the news:

Posted by Burger King on Monday, June 11, 2018

Consumers also had some fun with the name change, with some claiming they’d been triggered by the change and others suggesting the “b” might really stand for “bummer.”

At least one observer, however, found the name change an impressive bit of marketing.

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