IHOP's Colorful 'IF' Menu Targets Kids, Adults And Their Imaginary Friends

There’s nothing imaginary about IHOP’s latest menu, inspired by Paramount Pictures' upcoming movie "IF." In this case, “IF” stands for imaginary friends, and the family-friendly film, from writer and director (and former star of “The Office”) John Krasinski, features a girl whose superpower is the ability to see everyone’s IFs.

Taking advantage of the movie’s wide release on May 17, IHOP has created a new “IF”-inspired menu available through June 16, featuring seven new meals and beverages.

The colorful offerings include Blue’s Dazzleberry Pancakes. Named in honor of Blue, one of the IFs -- a friendly, purple, fuzzy guy --  these are blue raspberry-flavored pancakes topped with vanilla mousse, whipped topping and Fruity Pebbles, which are also available in the Blue’s Dazzleberry Jr. Combo. The Lewis’ Cinn-A-Bear Stack is buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon spread, cream cheese icing, cinnamon sugar donut holes and whipped topping.



On the drinks menu, the Unbelieva-Blue Soda Pop is a blend of lemon-lime soda and blue raspberry syrup, garnished with The Original Bomb Pop -- a lollipop that turns the drink purple. 

The "IF" partnership follows the brand’s successful collaboration late last year with Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Wonka.”

IHOP CMO Kieran Donahue shared  more details on the new collab with QSR Insider.

QSR Insider: What inspired the deal with “IF"?

Donahue:  IHOP is a family dining destination where you can come as you are, any time of day. “IF” seemed like the perfect partnership to bring imagination to life through our menu. Our culinary team reimagined the movie through food, with one-of-a-kind menu creations that fans will love.

We have established ourselves as a highly creative and collaborative theatrical partner in the family dining category, having partnered with family-friendly films of the likes of “Minions: The Rise of Gru” and “Wonka.”

QSR Insider:  The “IF” menu follows on the heels of your “Wonka” promo. How successful was that? Any metrics you can share?

Donahue:   The LTO “Wonka” menu contributed to comp sales growth in Q4 2023, and kids’ items had the greatest share of sales of any entertainment tie-in LTO in five years. Additionally, the Wonka Burger had the highest share of sales of any item on the LTO menu, outperforming sales expectations and showing the enduring popularity and relevance of our burgers category.

QSR Insider:  Besides items on the menu, how else will IHOP promote “IF” offerings?

Donahue:  The "IF"-inspired menu is supported by a full omnichannel marketing plan, including TVC, influencer partnerships and in-store promotions.

QSR Insider:  How does the partnership with Paramount and IF fit into IHOP’s overall marketing strategy?

Donahue:   Our goal is to serve more joy to our guests every day, and we do that by creating a place where our guests can come together to create lasting memories. Our partnership with Paramount and "IF" allows us to create meaningful moments for families to enjoy imaginative food and our signature hospitality.

The menu partnerships and innovations were also driven and inspired by our internal research, which identified pillars of what guests are looking for in IHOP’s menu. Every decision we make is driven by our guests’ feedback and needs, which ultimately influences our overall marketing strategy by reaching guests where they already are.

QSR Insider: Any future collaborations you can mention?

Donahue: While there is nothing we can share at the moment, we always have something up our sleeve. We look forward to more exciting partnerships like this in the future.


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