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You Can Now Drink Booze at Select IHOPs

What’s better than syrup and butter on blueberry pancakes? Why champagne in orange juice, of course. IHOP apparently agrees.

The ubiquitous breakfast company announced a “Bubbles, Wine & Brews” menu on August 12, featuring curated and locally sourced beer and wine options to go with brand names like Bud Light, Blue Moon, Corona beers, and Barefoot — Bubbly Brut, Bubbly Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The pilot menu is now available at three restaurants in San Diego and New Mexico and will expand to New York, Rhode Island, Maryland, Ohio, and additional markets in the coming months. If things go as well as IHOP plans, beer and wine could soon be available at all 1,700 franchises.

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This comes on the heels of expansion and experimentation over the past few years. New alcoholic options complement IHOP’s new meal priorities, lunch and dinner. In 2018, the “IHOb” campaign introducing a new burger line at the iconic restaurant, and in 2020, IHOPPY Hour arrived alongside its first-ever lunch and dinner-focused value menu.

Along the same timeline, an IHOP in Phoenix boasted that it was the first to serve alcohol outside of an airport in 2018. Since then, a couple of others — Las Vegas and Los Angeles — followed independently. 

In fact, IHOP created  “Bubbles, Wine & Brews”  using feedback from franchisees who have been offering one-off alcohol programs for the past few years. 

“Our recent ‘Drinks and Dining Survey’ of Americans unveiled that 66% of our recent guests and 58% of our younger guests (ages 21 to 34) have been craving an alcoholic beverage to accompany some of their IHOP favorites,” Jay Johns, president of IHOP, said in a statement. “As we continue to focus and expand on our daytime and evening menu options, adult beverages offer a terrific innovation and evolution to enjoy IHOP for every occasion.”

Alcohol could push IHOP’s recovery from a debilitating pandemic. Alcohol typically yields margins of about 75% for beer and 60% to 70% for wine. That’s compared to an average 3% to 6% general profit margin for a food-only restaurant. 

The new drinks menu will be for dine-in only. This shouldn’t stop you from grabbing ingredients for a drink at home when you’re already picking up IHOP to go.

Read more: IHOP Changes Name

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Matthew Denis
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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