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IHOP demonstrates power of “not cramming too much stuff onto the menu.”

Article by
Charlie Hopper
Principal, Writer
Young & Laramore
Placeholder Image? 83800ef27931fec08aec3fb91c0977be

A Bloomberg Businessweek article today presents an engaging and instructive look at IHOP’s newly redesigned menu. You should check it out.

The menu redesign is credited with a 3.6% jump in sales. Not too shabby.

Here’s a sample spread with graphics that I screen-grabbed from the Bloomberg Businessweek article.

Notice: they took a bunch of stuff off the menu, and didn’t write as much copy.

Customers look at the photos, decide, upsell themselves because of the ease of adding bacon to their order, and go back to chatting with their boothmates about events of the day.

It’s so hard to get marketing teams to cut the copy, and it’s so hard to get operations to agree with eliminating offerings.

A hearty congratulations to the IHOP folks who introduced some discipline, common sense and restraint into the menu. Let’s all learn from this example. I think I’ll stop typing extraneous words now, as a tribute and a celebration.

Charlie Hopper, Principal, Writer at Y&L

Over the past 30-something years, Charlie’s played many roles at Y&L, including writer, principal, general enthusiast and creative director on Steak ’n Shake during its heyday at the agency. He is also the author of Selling Eating: Restaurant Marketing Beyond the Word “Delicious.”