On June 11, IHOP’s official Twitter account changed its name to “IHOB,” and the internet world went crazy.
The change left consumers with a lot of questions: does IHOP still serve pancakes? Are they transitioning away from breakfast? Is the change permanent? Is the Long Beach location on Bellflower Boulevard changing its sign???
We sat down with the authority in Long Beach when it comes to IHOP/B: Bob Rosenburg, a Long Beach resident of almost 40 years. Not only does Rosenburg own 33 IHOPs, including the ones in Long Beach and Lakewood, but his uncle was a founder of the restaurant chain, allowing him to play a major role in IHOP’s position as an international staple.
So what were his thoughts?
“When we first heard from corporate, it really took us by surprise… I mean we were really shocked,” said Rosenburg. “I didn’t think it was such a good idea but now I think it’s genius. I mean the press we’ve gotten is really incredible!”
He’s right in that regard. Every major news outlet has picked up the story since, even the highly-esteemed Long Beach 908 App.
“It’s crazy the way they can track sales instantaneously now,” Rosenburg said. “Our burger sales have gone up significantly in just a few weeks.”
As for the biggest question on most people’s minds: is the company doing away with pancakes? The answer from Rosenburg is a resounding “no.”
“This is not permanent, we’re not changing our sign, we’re not changing our menu at all. This is a publicity stunt thought up by an outside marketing agency, and it’s doing a pretty great job so far,” Rosenburg said.
For a limited time, “IHOB” has a special burger menu and a few other deals added to the promotion, like unlimited fries. In the end, they’ll likely select the most popular specialty burgers and add those to the main menu when the company officially goes back to being IHOP.
For the time being, it’s reminded Long Beach residents that not only is the IHOP on Bellflower Boulevard still there, but that it’s locally owned by a 908 resident who takes a lot of pride in his company.
Rosenburg started off cooking breakfast in the kitchen at IHOP when he was 12 years old and has had a long, illustrious career with the company, growing it to what it has become today. As a cook during the Vietnam War, his training moved him up the ranks to KP (Kitchen Police) and eventually led him to be the personal cook for one of the top generals in the war. Rosenburg’s specialty has always been breakfast, and his expertise even influenced some of the official war-time code words to be cryptos like“Raspberry Syrup.” Rosenburg’s story mirrors that of the company’s—they know what brought them to the top and the main portion of their sales is still breakfast.
“We want people to know how good our burgers are, and I think it’s working. But pancakes will always be number one here,” Rosenburg said.
So before they officially go back to being IHOP, get in there and try a burger! We don’t know exactly when the switch back is coming, but I think I speak for all of us when I say, “It’ll be soon, I-Hop(e).”