This week, IHOP, a subsidiary of Dine Brands Global Inc. ($DIN) announced IHOPS, a beer that includes ingredients from its buttermilk pancake batter, spices from its pumpkin spice pancakes, and maple syrup.
The last time we saw IHOP derail off the breakfast train was during its IHOB stage back in June. But in taking another look at IHOP's Facebook profile, it seems these stunts are helping the brand re-invigorate itself and reach out to younger audiences.
In our last social media analysis for the brand, we predicted that the date where Facebook users "talk about" IHOP the most was in July for its anniversary pancake special. As expected, IHOP saw its brand talked about in over 150,000 stories on the social media website with 1.45 billion active daily users.
Not only was this "talking about" spike huge for IHOP in 2018, it also outranked any single day of 2017, including when it had its 59th anniversary promotion.
Shifting back to most recent spike in September, the IHOPS beer campaign, as well as announcing their fall pancake lineup, helped generate some strong buzz for the International House of Pancakes turned beer ingredient supplier.
These "talking about" spikes, at the very least, gave a boost to IHOP's overall social media presence, as some of the biggest days for IHOP's Facebook page came on days where its campaigns were sizzling like a side of bacon.
What is also interesting about these spikes — and the viral campaigns that cause them — is that they come at the end of fiscal quarters for Dine Brands Global. IHOP changed its name to IHOB one month before the end of Quarter 2, and IHOPs was released to the world the week before the end of Quarter 3.
In Dine Brands Global's second quarter report released on August 1, the company reported same-store sales increases of .7% at IHOP. While that number is small, it is still a year-over-year increase and one that comes on the heels of the IHOB promotion.
There isn't another anniversary promotion the chain is running to close out its third fiscal quarter, at least, none that we are aware of. However, the IHOPs campaign seems to be another attempt to drive traffic to stores before the end of the quarter.
We'll see how it plays out when Dine Brands Global releases its Third Quarter 2018 results in November.