IHOP Just Dropped An NFT, And It's Not What You Think It Is

NFTs. Chances are you've probably heard about these things while scrolling through Twitter, picked up that they are "non-fungible tokens" or something, and went on with your day. CNN describes them in the same manner as trading cards: limited, one-of-a-kind digital items whose rarity makes them increase in value. While that sounds all very technical, it hasn't stopped businesses from jumping on board the digital bandwagon — after all, valuable digital assets are still valuable assets! 

In March of 2021, Taco Bell released its own version of NFTs in the style of retro cartoons depicting emojis and tacos. McDonald's released an NFT to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the McRib in October 2021 while Pizza Hut made its grand debut into the non-fungible token market that same year (via Eater). Although some may be confused as to what any of this is, or even see it as some kind of virtual pyramid scheme, it's simply companies trying to keep ahead with trends and a changing market. If McDonald's has to release a digital picture of the McRib or Pizza Hut has to give out virtual breadsticks, then so be it.

It seems that IHOP is joining the NFT market too, proudly announcing that its NFTs will be making their grand debut soon. "Oh brother," you're probably thinking as you read this, "what's it gonna be now? Digital pancakes? Non-tradeable waffles?"

All very good guesses, sure. Let's see what kind of virtual surprise IHOP has in store for NFT investors and pancake lovers.

IHOP's NFT stands for New French Toast

Fooled you, didn't we?

According to Business Wire, IHOP's new NFT isn't a GIF, meme, or anything to do with computers; instead, it stands for New French Toast. The Thick N' Fluffy French Toast consists of two pieces of thick, fluffy bread soaked in a vanilla cinnamon mixture and then fried up on the griddle. Guests can choose from flavors such as classic, strawberry banana, or lemon ricotta with mixed berry. To purchase this NFT, BusinessWire tells us it's only "10 PanCoins that can be redeemed at the International Bank of Pancakes Stack Market." What?

As Restaurant Business explains, the International Bank of Pancakes is actually IHOP's loyalty program, where customers can order points or "PanCoins" for placing orders through the app. For only 10 PanCoins, customers can get the new French toast during the first two weeks of its launch.

If you went into this thinking this was about NFTs only to be disappointed, you're not alone. The Drum reports that many NFT enthusiasts were excited by IHOP's teaser of their new "NFT" — only to be shocked by the revelation it was just about breakfast rather than any virtual currency. 

While NFT traders won't be happy about not having a new NFT for their collection, they can at least debate over what other token to invest in over some French toast or some pancakes. Besides, another restaurant already covered being NFT-exclusive anyway, so at least there's that for NFT investors.