Why IHOP Is Calling A New Food Item 'Its First NFT'

IHOP has been offering pancakes and other breakfast favorites since the restaurant chain opened back in 1958, and that has never changed. But plenty of things have changed at IHOP during the past few years, including a brief name change to IHOb in 2018 as part of a marketing campaign to boost its new slate of hamburger options. IHOP has always offered burgers, CNBC noted, but it was attempting to lure more customers during lunch and dinner hours.

The addition of "burritos and bowls" was another menu tweak made with lunch and dinner in mind, although they're available during breakfast hours, too. According to Today, takeout sales were also a major factor in the menu changes, which took effect in 2021, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, when dine-in sales were flagging. IHOP's loyalty program has also received a recent makeover. As Forbes observed, the shift earlier this year from "MyHop" to an "International Bank of Pancakes" themed rewards program was an attempt to promote digital sales via IHOP's online and mobile applications.

The new loyalty program showcases a much more modern approach, with features like direct pay QR codes, and new crypto-like "PanCoins" which are earned through purchases and can be traded or redeemed for items like IHOP's newly announced "first NFT," per Business Wire.

IHOP redefines the meaning of 'NFT'

When IHOP first hinted at its new NFT on social media, it used digital imagery that included a cat with a rocket pack. Not everyone knew what was coming. On Instagram, a seemingly upset commenter claimed, "They're selling out to pointless currency that steals from artists, makes no money, and [screws] up the environment." But according to Business Wire, IHOP's playful and very edible definition of NFT is "New French Toast." Though IHOP will apparently be inaugurating a non-fungible token as well, notes Restaurant Business News, advertising it on social media channels Twitter and Instagram via @IHOP.

Three versions of "New French Toast" are included in IHOP's new all-day menu, each of which, per the press release, is of the "Thick 'N Fluffy" variety. The headliner is classic French toast, a decadent IHOP specialty dipped in vanilla cinnamon batter, and served up with whipped butter and powdered sugar. But strawberry banana, and lemon ricotta mixed berry French toast plates are also among the recently announced additions to IHOP's all-day menu.

IHOP' new menu, per the press release, promises to satisfy cravings that are "light" and "indulgent." The former includes health-conscious menu selections like egg white omelets, avocado toast, plant-based sausage, and salmon fillets with broccoli and green beans. The latter designation, meanwhile, encompasses the French toast variations, plus menu items like sirloin Salisbury steak with bacon macaroni and cheese.