A Burger BonanzaCover Story
June 24, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
By now, practically everybody in the country has heard about IHOb. “Everyone knows that IHOP (International House of Pancakes) makes world-famous pancakes, so we felt like the best way to convince them that we are as serious about our new line of Ultimate Steakburgers as we are about our pancakes, was to change our name to IHOb,” says Brad Haley, IHOP chief marketing officer, in a press release announcing the marketing campaign. “We’ve pancaked pancakes for 60 years now so it’s the perfect time to start burgerin’ burgers, and we’re kicking it off by flipping the ‘p’ in IHOP to a ‘b’ for burgers.”
Though the name change is a lighthearted marketing strategy, the Ultimate Steakburgers that motivated this campaign are seriously delicious.
“Everybody’s talking about them. ‘IHOb? What’s going on with IHOP?'” chuckles Andrew Lovesee, IHOP Pearl City general manager. “We’re stepping away from fast-food burgers that are quick and easy, and going for something heartier, more filling, and better-tasting.”
Each all-natural, 100 percent USDA Choice, Black Angus ground beef patty is smashed and seared on the grill to lock in juices and flavor. Prices range from $12.49 to $15.99, and each burger comes with unlimited fries and a free soft drink.
“My personal favorite at the moment is our Cowboy BBQ Burger ($13.49),” says Lovesee. “It starts with our Black Angus beef, and it has lettuce, tomatoes, American cheese, custom-cured hickory-smoked bacon, two onion rings, and barbecue sauce. Sometimes I like my burgers spicier, and our Jalapeno Kick Burger ($13.99), with bacon, pepper jack cheese, jalapeno mayo sauce, and a sauteed blend of jalapenos, yellow onions, serrano peppers, is amazing.”
The new burgers, adds Lovesee, are much thicker and juicier than their predecessors at IHOP. “A lot of people don’t realize that these burgers come with unlimited fries and a free soft drink. We serve them on buttered brioche buns, which we put on the grill to toast them a bit.”
Though IHOP is taking the art of the burger to new levels, it’s still faithful to the standards.
The Classic ($12.49) and The Classic With Bacon ($12.99) offers nostalgic delight, yet elevates the experience with Black Angus beef patties, which is also found in Mega Monster Burger ($15.99), a towering feast made with two delicious patties.
“And our Mushroom & Swiss Burger ($13.99) is simple and classic, but it’s one of the juiciest I’ve ever tasted,” adds Lovesee.
Mixing things up is Big Brunch Burger ($13.99), which comes with a crispy potato cake, American cheese, over-medium egg, bacon and special IHOP sauce.
Lovesee acknowledges the ribbing being thrown at the IHOb campaign by fast-food chains on their social media accounts. “Everybody in the country is talking about it!” he says. “But we’ll always be IHOP.”
“IHOb” may be temporary, but the Ultimate Steak-burgers are here to stay.
What’s more, IHOP will be opening its Ewa Beach location on June 26.
In 2006, IHOP launched National Pancake Day, raising almost $30 million for charities. In the same spirit, IHOP offers sweet discounts to deserving members of our community. For instance, active duty military and veterans receive a 15 percent discount for themselves and a friend; seniors (age 55 and older) receive a 10 percent discount on full-price menu items; keiki (age 12 and under) receive a free kids’ meal from 4 to10 p.m. daily with each adult entrée; and policemen in uniform receive a 50 percent discount.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Looking for a place to party? IHOP in Pearl City has a private room that can seat you and up to 40 friends. “We charge $50 per hour, but if your party’s bill is more than $200, the fee for the first two hours is waived,” explains general manager Andrew Lovesee. The room is rented on a first-come, first-served basis, and on Saturdays and Sundays it’s available after 3 p.m.