What day is pancake day at IHOP?

IHOP is known for its pancakes, offering classic buttermilk pancakes along with specialty pancakes in flavors like New York cheesecake and cinnamon swirl. With pancakes being such a signature menu item, IHOP celebrates pancakes in a big way on Pancake Day. So when exactly is Pancake Day at IHOP?

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent in the Christian tradition. It falls 47 days before Easter Sunday. Pancake Day is celebrated by making and eating pancakes, which was a way to use up eggs, milk, and fat before the Lenten fast.

The date of Pancake Day changes every year since it depends on when Easter falls. Easter dates are determined by a complex set of calculations based on the lunar calendar. So Pancake Day can fall anywhere between February 3rd to March 9th.

Here are the upcoming dates for Pancake Day:

2023 February 21
2024 February 13
2025 March 4
2026 February 17
2027 February 9

When is Pancake Day at IHOP?

IHOP celebrates Pancake Day on the same day as the traditional holiday. So whenever Pancake Day falls in a given year, that’s when IHOP holds their Pancake Day festivities.

For example, in 2023 Pancake Day falls on February 21st, so that’s when participating IHOP locations will offer their National Pancake Day free pancake promotion. IHOP has celebrated National Pancake Day on Pancake Day for over 15 years.

Some key details on IHOP’s Pancake Day celebrations:

– It’s held from 7am to 7pm on Pancake Day.

– Select stacks of IHOP’s classic buttermilk pancakes are offered free of charge.

– The free pancakes are dine-in only, with a limit of 1 free stack per customer.

– IHOP suggests donations to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.

– National Pancake Day is held at participating locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Not all IHOPs take part.

So in summary, IHOP’s Pancake Day always aligns with the traditional holiday date. Check when Shrove Tuesday falls next year and that’s when you can get free pancakes at IHOP!

History of Pancake Day at IHOP

IHOP first celebrated National Pancake Day in 2006. The famous pancake chain used it as a way to celebrate pancakes, its signature menu item, while also giving back to the community.

The first National Pancake Day was a huge success with long lines at IHOPs nationwide. IHOP aimed to give away 2 million free pancakes that first year and ended up giving away over 4 million pancakes!

Over the years IHOP’s National Pancake Day has continued to grow. Here are some milestones:

2006 First National Pancake Day celebrated
2008 Free pancakes extended to dinner hours
2009 7 million pancakes given away
2012 Donations reach $10 million mark
2015 Celebrates 10th National Pancake Day
2019 Donations surpass $30 million

In addition to donations for charity, National Pancake Day has helped bring awareness to IHOP and increase its customer base. The chain often sees a sales bounce in the weeks after due to increased customer interest.

National Pancake Day Traditions

Over 15 years, certain traditions have formed around IHOP’s National Pancake Day celebration:

Free short stack of buttermilk pancakes – This iconic IHOP menu item is what’s offered complimentary on National Pancake Day. Customers can choose to top their pancakes however they like with choices like bananas, blueberries, cinnamon, and more.

7am to 7pm hours – To give everyone a chance to get their free pancake stack, IHOP runs the promotion for 12 hours from open to close.

Dine-in only – The free buttermilk pancakes are only available for dine-in customers versus to-go orders. This helps drive traffic into IHOP restaurants.

1 stack per customer – Each customer can only receive one free short stack of pancakes to allow everyone a chance to participate.

Donations collected – IHOP partners with charities and collects donations from customers on National Pancake Day.

Other pancake promotions – Customers can purchase specialty pancake stacks at a discount on National Pancake Day.

Pancake Day Preparation

IHOP goes all out to prepare for the surge of customers on National Pancake Day. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at how they get ready:

Extra staffing – More cooks, servers, hosts, and managers are scheduled to handle the high customer volume.

Pancake batter prepared – Each IHOP location mixes up large batches of pancake batter in advance so they don’t run out.

Syrup stocked – There is extra syrup ordered and stocked for the occasion so every pancake can be topped.

Marketing boosted – IHOP increases its advertising and PR efforts before National Pancake Day to build awareness.

Charity partners lined up – Local charity partners are secured to benefit from donations from National Pancake Day.

Supplies stocked up – Extra pancake mix, butter, plates, silverware and other supplies are ordered ahead of time.

Menu planned – They design a special National Pancake Day menu highlighting charity partners and discounted specialty pancakes.

Proper preparation is key to executing a smooth National Pancake Day for customers and the IHOP team!

IHOP’s Specialty Pancakes

In addition to their classic buttermilk pancakes, IHOP offers a wide array of innovative pancake flavors and ingredients:

Cupcake Pancakes – Vanilla cupcake-flavored batter with cupcake icing on top.

New York Cheesecake Pancakes – Graham cracker batter with cheesecake pieces and cream cheese icing.

Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes – Cinnamon batter swirled with vanilla.

Harvest Grain ‘N Nut Pancakes – Multigrain batter with walnuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes – Chocolate batter with chocolate chips.

Strawberry Banana Pancakes – Strawberry batter with fresh banana slices.

Caramel Apple Campfire Pancakes – Cinnamon batter with apple pie filling and caramel sauce.

Jelly Donut Pancakes – Buttermilk batter with powdered strawberry topping and a jelly donut on top.

The specialty pancakes are a popular order at IHOP for those with more adventurous taste buds who want to go beyond classic buttermilk. The flavors provide a unique pancake experience.

IHOP’s History

IHOP has become synonymous with pancakes, but here is how the iconic chain originated:

1958 Brothers Al and Jerry Lapin open first IHOP in Burbank, CA
1959 First franchise opens in San Diego
1973 100th location opens
1978 500th location opens
1983 IHOP goes public
1991 1,000th location opens
1998 First location in Middle East opens
2015 Reaches 1,650 global locations

From humble origins as a single diner in Los Angeles, IHOP has expanded to over 1,700 locations globally today. It continues innovating with new pancake flavors while remaining true to its pancake roots over 60 years later.

Why IHOP’s Pancake Day Matters

On one level, IHOP’s National Pancake Day is simply a fun food holiday celebrating pancakes. But it has deeper significance:

Boosts business – Drives significant traffic and sales around and after Pancake Day.

Community focus – Raises large amount of donations for national and local charities via the event.

Reward customers – Offers a thank you freebie to loyal pancake lovers.

Introduces new visitors – Chance for first-timers to check out IHOP’s legendary pancakes.

Brand awareness – Reminds people across the country of IHOP and pancakes.

Makes memories – Families create fun Pancake Day memories they look forward to each year.

Brings people together – For one day, everyone united together over the common bonds of pancakes and giving back.

So IHOP’s National Pancake Day helps build community, give back, celebrate pancake love, and drive business. It’s a win-win!

Finding an IHOP Near You

Given IHOP’s popularity, it’s pretty easy to find a location nearby:

– Use the store locator on IHOP’s website by entering your city or zip code.

– Search on Google Maps or your preferred maps app for “IHOP near me” and it will pinpoint all locations within driving distance.

– Call IHOP’s customer support hotline at 1-800-IHOP-NOW and they can tell you the nearest spots.

– Check locations along any major highways or roads in your area, as IHOP likes highway access.

– Ask any friends, neighbors, coworkers, or family members for recommendations of good local IHOPs.

– Drive around your city on a weekend morning – if you see cars filling up a parking lot you can bet there’s an IHOP!

With over 1,700 locations across the countries, there’s likely an International House of Pancakes not too far away to satisfy your craving.


Mark your calendar for upcoming Pancake Days to take advantage of IHOP’s free pancake offer on this beloved food holiday. It only comes once per year, so be sure to get out and enjoy a complimentary short stack while supporting charity. Pancake Day at IHOP falls on the same date as the traditional Shrove Tuesday holiday, so just check when that is each year. IHOP’s National Pancake Day has grown tremendously over 15 years and is now a major event generating crowds of new and existing pancake lovers. For a unique pancake experience, try one of IHOP’s specialty pancakes on Pancake Day or any time you dine with them. And locate an IHOP near you so you can celebrate Pancake Day conveniently close by. Pancakes bring us together in so many ways, as IHOP’s famous National Pancake Day reminds us each year.

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