IHOP Promotes Rooty Tooty For First Time In 10 Years

How does a chain make a good-selling menu item perform better? Promote it, of course.

On Monday, Glendale, Calif.-based IHOP began offering a Super Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity breakfast, a bigger version of its signature Rooty Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity, which it introduced in 1984. The Super version, a combo breakfast, includes two pancakes topped with strawberry, blueberry or cinnamon-apple topping and whipped cream, plus eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns in one of three sizes: regular, big or jumbo. Prices start at $4.99.

Window clings, menu handouts and danglers will promote the Super Rooty Tooty in the stores, while spot television will give added support. The spots will continue IHOP's current theme of "Come Hungry, Leave Happy," handled by McCann-Erickson's Los Angeles office.

The Super promotion is the first time IHOP has promoted the Rooty Tooty breakfast in a decade, according to an IHOP spokesman. He said the regular Rooty Tooty breakfast is one of the chain's best sellers, although he wouldn't release sales.



The spokesman said that giving promotional weight to entrenched menu items is cycling around the industry, offering McDonald's promotion of its Egg McMuffin sandwiches in the Los Angeles market as one example.

"There's an interest in chains promoting signature items, and putting them back in front of consumers very vividly, and doing it successfully," the spokesman said.

IHOP has 1,278 restaurants in the United States and Canada. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the chain posted system-wide same-store sales increases of 3.1 percent, and 1.3 percent for the quarter ended in September. IHOP officials attributed the increase to increased traffic, which offset a slight decrease in check averages.

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