A year ago, IHOP got the Internet’s attention when it sent out a tweet with a "hip new voice."
“Who knew IHOP was so hip? The pancake chain has found its voice on Twitter, and it sounds an awful lot like a teenage hip-hop fan,” quipped Adweek at the time.
Since then, the breakfast haven has been using the social media platform as a way to engage younger customers, frequently sending out cheeky and slang-filled tweets.
The strategy has been working in the company’s favor, with some of their posts garnering thousands of retweets. This week, however, IHOP was skewered for going a step too far.
On Sunday, the restaurant chain posted a photograph of a stack of pancakes with the caption: “Flat but has a GREAT personality.”
The backlash to the post was swift, with several IHOP customers expressing outrage at what they said was too racy a tweet.
"Can't teach my Girl Scouts that casual misogyny is okay," wrote Twitter user Laura Perkins Cox.
Another user named Seamus Bellamy criticized the pancake house for "snark" and "sexism."
There were other netizens who responded with humor -- and utter bafflement.
The company has since taken down the post and issued an apology.
IHOP isn’t the only fast food company that has been using social media as a means to reach a younger customer base. Several other big chains, including Taco Bell and Burger King, have employed similar strategies.
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