We’ve all been there: living our busy, urban lives, simply trying to have it all, with only a few minutes to squeeze in a quick lunch between our important business meetings. We scroll through the lackluster options on our food delivery app, and think to ourselves: “I want food that’s made efficiently. I want something I can eat on-the-go. And, above all, what I really want is something called a Pancake Bowl.” Well, finally, the future will finally arrive sometime this spring.
The International House of Pancakes is rolling out a fast-casual restaurant called Flip’d by IHOP. (No, unfortunately it’s not called the International Fast-Casual Restaurant of Pancakes [IFCOP].) And yes, they’re selling something called Pancake Bowls. It appears that the ubiquitous chain is trying to become the Chipotle of all-day breakfast.
Currently, the only confirmed Flip’d by IHOP location will be in Atlanta, but IHOP is exploring sites in New York, D.C., Denver, Chicago, and San Francisco. The new chain is intended for busy folks in dense cities. There’s no waitstaff, and food can be ordered by digital kiosk or through an assembly line, à la Chipotle or Sweetgreen. Except instead of concocting whatever combination of salad bedding and veggies they’d like, customers will be assembling bowls of pancakes, fruit, bacon, cheese, and eggs. (Yikes.) They can also order made-to-order breakfast burritos, grab-and-go salads, or popular items from the IHOP menu, such as the Ultimate Steakburger.
The idea makes sense, I guess. I mean, who’s going to go for a sit-down breakfast at an IHOP in the morning before work? Or during work? But to me, pancakes are a sacred meal reserved for weekends in sweatpants, often with a light hangover. They’re not to be eaten in a rush. But I have a terrifying feeling America’s going to disagree with me on that one.