Esposito, Samantha

IHOP Gives Free Pancakes For A Great Cause

IMG_8099IHOP restaurants will be distributing free pancakes in order to raise money for charity.

On Tuesday, March 8th from 7 AM to 7 PM guests will be able to dine at various IHOP locations and enjoy one free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to leave a donation for The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals; a nonprofit organization that strives to help saves and improves the lives of children.

Customers are encouraged to leave a donation on their credit card or in cash up until National Pancake Day. For all customers who leave a donation of $5 or more will receive a $5 coupon for their next visit. “Instead of paying for the pancakes, you donate to the day and the cause,” says manager and owner of IHOP in Williston Park, NY.

Megan Devlin, a part-time hostess and waitress at a local IHOP in Williston Park, NY says, “Working on national pancake day is extremely overwhelming because many of the locals come in for the free pancakes. However, it is for a great cause and it is exciting to see how much money we can raise for charities.”

According to Stephen DeFranco, manager and owner of the IHOP located in Williston Park, they collected $4,000 in donations last year. This year, they are hoping to increase their donations by 10%. He says, “Each year, the numbers are growing drastically.”

$3.5 million is the overall 2016 goal for IHOP’s National Pancake Day. $2 million was raised in 2015.

Stephen says, “Although National Pancake Day is a hectic day for IHOP and its employees, it is great because we are saving the lives of children. It is overall well worth it.”

The restaurant takes a great amount of time to prepare for what is considered their “busiest day,” according to Mr. DeFranco. Approximately 2,000 orders of pancakes are given away for free, so it takes a large deal of batter to have supplied on hand.

National Pancake Day has been so popular in the past that principles of local high schools had to call IHOP and complain about having their students there instead of in school. “It has become a cult; I have seen students create t-shirts with all local IHOP locations on it. When they finish free pancakes from a location, they cross it off of their shirt. They repeat this process until all the locations are crossed off and their shirt is complete,” says manager and owner.

Mr. DeFranco says, “National Pancake Day does not increase business for the entire day, however it puts a lot of value onto the company. It shows social responsibility and it is intangible; there can’t be a dollar put on it, but it shows great associations.”

According to IHOP’s website, IHOP restaurants have raised nearly $20 million since 2006 to support charities in the communities in which they reside in. Visit their website to find a participating location.

Visit The Children’s Miracle Network Hospital’s website to learn more about what they do and to donate directly.