Dec. 11 (UPI) -- IHOP will introduce a new restaurant chain, Flip'd by IHOP, in 2020, with its first location in Atlanta, the company announced on Wednesday.
The "fast-casual" restaurant will be half the size of a current IHOP and offer some items not available at current restaurants, including breakfast burritos and a "pancake bowl" to simplify eating pancakes on the go. The restaurant will emphasize speed in its execution of orders, with use of ordering by kiosks in the restaurant and by mobile phone.
"A lot of people in their morning routine go to a coffee place and frankly have to settle for potentially a substandard breakfast experience, because you're just buying what's available at the coffee shop," IHOP President Jay Johns said. "Now you can actually order things and it's ready the moment you get there, instead of having to order the second you walk in, so this will be quick, but it's not fast food."
IHOP will seek high-traffic areas of cities for the new restaurants. The company is currently investigating sites in Denver, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Its expansion into fast-casual dining comes as foot traffic in the full-service restaurant industry has declined, as more consumers seek ready-made meals in supermarkets.
Same-store IHOP sales grew 1.2 percent in the third quarter, as customers were fewer but spent more per visit. Shares of Dine Brands, IHOP's parent company, have risen 21 percent in 2019.