American restaurant chain IHOP (International House of Pancakes) announces a test-release of its first vegan breakfast sandwich, the Plant-Based Cali.
Offered exclusively at one Flip’d by IHOP eatery in New York City’s Flatiron district, the sandwich may see a larger location rollout depending on customer demand. According to a release, the Plant-Based Cali features a Sweet Earth breakfast sausage patty and folded JUST Egg topped with roasted tomatoes, arugula and avocado, served on an all-vegan bun.
The IHOP culinary team reportedly spent two years developing the menu item, and worked closely with brands behind the ingredients to craft an appealing flavor profile, the company stated.
A positive change
The Plant-Based Cali debut marks a major milestone for the pancake house, which, in recent years, has largely neglected public petitions and requests to add more substantial plant-based options. In 2019, IHOP executives revealed they were “closely looking into” expanding their vegan and vegetarian menu in response to an online petition asking the chain for vegan pancakes.
Though such pancakes have not yet materialized, the test-launch of the Plant-Based Cali is a positive sign the brand is increasingly receptive to consumer demand. Flip’d franchisee Bryan McKenzie, who is vegan, stated he is excited to launch the sandwich and hopes it will become the first of many new plant-based entrees at the chain.
Flip’d by IHOP is a fast-casual subsidiary that allows customers to dine in or conveniently order meals using contact-free kiosks. The menu features classic dishes while offering space for experimental items, making it an ideal location for the Plant-Based Cali’s testing phase.
“Consumer demand is shifting to healthier menu options, specifically plant-based items,” McKenzie told VegNews. “So we decided that Flip’d was the perfect fit to introduce this new menu item.