IHOP Cancels International Pancake Day Due to Pandemic

by Madison Miller

Unfortunately, there’s more bad news for 2021. The longstanding tradition of walking into an IHOP today and getting a free stack of pancakes has now been canceled.

IHOP announced it was canceling National Pancake Day due to the continued severity of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Normally they always serve free pancakes on what is known as Fat Tuesday.

Normally today, Feb. 16, is one of the most popular holidays for breakfast lovers. While stores won’t be doing the typical free pancake giveaway, they have a new plan to keep customers happy.

According to USA Today, the one-day event is now becoming a monthlong promotion. Those hoping to get free pancakes should sign up for the MyHOP email club by March 31.

As a result, members will get what the restaurant is calling an “IOU” for a free short stack. People need to sign up by March 31. Then they can redeem anytime throughout April. Now National Pancake Day can be celebrated for months instead of just one day.

The short stack must be combined with a $10 purchase either in a restaurant or ordered to-go.

The decision ensures that both customers and employees are staying safe. National Pancake Day was one of IHOP’s busiest and highest-selling days of the year. This means that there would have been a high number of people rushing to IHOP stores around the nation. This could be dangerous as there are currently over 480,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S.

According to Today, IHOP has struggled during COVID-19. The business had to close 100 underperforming locations due to poor sales.

IHOP Charity Work

The National Pancake Day is actually a charitable day as well. IHOP uses the day as a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For example, according to the IHOP site, a total of $3.5 million was raised in 2015. This meant over the course of 10 years, the restaurant has raised over $20 million for charity.

Other individual IHOP restaurants have supported United Way, Boys and Girls Clubs, Toys for Tots, and a number of other important organizations.

Many restaurants and other businesses have been facing a year of dreadful uncertainty. There have been a number of closings and reopenings that have made keeping businesses alive especially difficult. Small businesses and restaurants especially have suffered during the coronavirus pandemic.