IHOP National Pancake Day: FREE Short Stack of Pancakes Tomorrow (No Purchase Required)

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Don’t forget! Tomorrow, March 8th (National Pancake Day!), head on over to your local participating IHOP restaurant to score a FREE Short Stack of pancakes – no purchase necessary (limit one per guest)! While you’re there, also consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or other designated local charities.


Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP restaurants have raised nearly $20 million to support charities in the communities in which they operate. On March 8th, 2016, from 7AM to 7PM, guests from around the world will celebrate the 11th annual National Pancake Day at participating IHOP restaurants and enjoy one free short stack of Buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests will be asked to consider leaving a donation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals or other designated local charities.

Join The Discussion

Comments 38

  1. Marie

    Do you really get something for “Free” when you’re asked to consider leaving a donation to charity? Who can leave without giving a donation? I can’t. Honestly, it should be called a Pancake Charity Day. “Eat 3 pancakes and we’ll donate what you paid to charity.”

    • Alvin


    • Tara

      Hope I never get that cynical. They are doing a good thing for charity.

    • Sonia

      They aren’t charging you for them. It will say $0.00 by your short stack. And they aren’t charging you a donation either. You can donate or not donate. This is a way for them to bring masses of people together to raise money for charity, for a good cause, to help the children. If you feel you can’t leave without donating, then that just shows your kind heart. If you feel you have to donate but don’t *really* want to then don’t go. Easy peasy.

    • Donna

      What comes around goes around.

    • riss


    • Sue

      I don’t think your “eat 3 pancakes and we will donate what you paid” would work. You see, a lot of people come out to help others and donate hundreds of dollars and more. So “your” promotion would generate less for charity and be very ineffective.

      • Leigh

        If you think OP is cynical then I’ll bet you’ve never been to IHOP on “free pancake day” before. 1. The pancakes aren’t free. You will leave a donation, or you will feel like a jerk. We’re all couponers here and we all factor in the cost of donations, shipping, and other fine print on free stuff that makes it “not really free” as valid. Like Shutterfly! The cost of shipping on free items is your total out of pocket cost and therefore it’s not FREE free.
        2. This place is a zoo after the high schools let out because to kids who won’t leave a donation, the pancakes ARE free. Which brings me to:
        3. The quality of the pancakes on free pancake day is lower than usual. Yeah, they’re still good pancakes, but they’re on sale and they’re pumping them out at a ridiculous pace. They don’t taste like they do on Sunday mornings.
        IMO, skip “free pancake day” and go literally any other day. Donate a dollar with the grocery checkout if you’re feeling charitable tomorrow. Most IHOP locations have senior discounts and free kids meals every night – but call first because one location by me only has free kids meals on Tuesdays.

        • Kristin

          Oh please! Eat the FREE pancakes, order a water. Tip your server. And leave. If you feel like a jerk for not donating, that’s your own convictions. The flippin pancakes are FREE.

          • meg


            • Leigh

              Your total out of pocket cost is greater than 0, therefore not free. I’m not saying they charge you for the pancakes, I’m saying to expect to pay something – your server’s tip, your donation money, heck even the extra time spent waiting for the pancakes counts for something to me! Free to me means free. These just aren’t free.

        • Crystal

          Shipping; you have to pay in order to receive your product. Donating; you do not have to donate in order to receive the product. The pancakes are free.

          • Leigh

            I suppose you don’t actually HAVE TO tip your server in order to receive your food either, but that’s just not how I operate. Tip is included in the total cost of a meal to me as are any donations I might make while dining. Not free.

            • Ben

              Keep it up. They are free. FREE. When you tip your server you are paying for her service. The pancakes are free. Get over it.

          • Kristin

            You are one funny bunny Leigh!!! When you use a free kids meal coupon somewhere do you say you’re not getting a free kids meal???? Same thing. The pancakes a free. IHOP offered free pancakes to bring attention to raising money for charity. Free pancakes. That’s it. Not your entire experience or check or whatever you want to call it free. They offered free pancakes. So yes, Leigh, they are free. The pancakes are free.

            • Leigh

              If the kids meal requires the purchase of an adult meal or a drink or something then that’s not free to me either. Free is Ben & Jerrys setting up a truck and giving out ice cream. Free is PrΓͺt handing out iced coffees to passersby outside of grand central without even requiring them to step into the store. In NYC, we get A LOT of stuff for free, just walking around. Free gift with purchase isn’t free to me. If I have to pay shipping, it’s also not free. And going to a charity event and not donating makes no sense to me. I’m not saying that it’s not a good deal, just that it’s not free to me. To. Me. Not to you, to meπŸ˜‰

            • Leigh

              No need to get snippy, Ben. We’re just talking.

    • Cazi S

      They do want to sell u the fixins tho
      bacon and eggs or whatever

  2. Keri B

    So both my son and I could get a free short stack? Of course I’d make a donation, just trying to see if we both get free pancakes

    • Sonia

      Yep! Every single person can enjoy the free pancakes!

  3. Lisa

    Yep, it’s per guest. I always take my kids πŸ™‚

    • Keri B

      Awesome! Perhaps we will go. My 3 year old loves “pampakes” πŸ™‚

    • Rebe

      I am aware it is different by location, but does it get too crowed? My kids LOVE Ihop and we go once a year for Christmas Day. It would be wonderful to surprise them tomorrow with a visit and for a great cause! πŸ™‚

      • Greta

        Yes very very busy, all day, but especially in the morning. Best time I’d say would be between 2-4 pm, if your concerned about a large wait.

  4. Teri

    It amazes me, that people whom claim to have such big hearts…would condemn a fellow couponer…just for sharing a frustration…without knowing her full situation.

    The free pancake event, is a charity event, and for a great cause. Charity also includes grace toward those that have a diff opinion than ourselves. To condemn her, and question her values is unacceptable…and shameful. IMO.

    • Happymama

      Well said, thank you.

    • David

      Pretty sure the tone of her post is what is getting everyone shaken up. Her opinion is not stated in a good manner. It’s all about how you post and how other perceive things.

      • Fran

        Not to mention complaining about donating I’d just plain tacky.

    • eyez1998

      Well said Teri

    • Thank You

      Great comment Teri!

    • stfu

      Oh, get over yourself. To complain about having to donate something on charity day!? That’s just plain tacky, stop defending that kind of crap. We all have opinions and that’s mine.

      • meg

        Lol. Couldn’t agree with you more.

  5. quira628

    Hello, I have a family of 7 currently. (Fostering) We usually are a family of 5. Which my budget manners better lol. So for me to donate $20 for 7 people to eat pancakes for dinner is a win for us!!! My family rarely ever eat out. It’s not the price, its more about teaching healthy eating habits. So if I can donate and get pancakes for everyone, I love it!! I donate to many charitable organizations and get nothing in return. Not even a receipt for taxes at times………

  6. rn30032

    OH Lawd….why folks

  7. Mia

    Don’t forget to tip your waiter/waitress in addition to your donation!

    • Craig

      Yes, at least tip them. They are busting their butts that day and kids hardly if ever tip.

  8. lily

    I am sure any one of us would gladly pay $1 towards the health of our children. When most charities simply ask for a $ donation, IHOP chooses to give away their product to help raise funds. I have personally had a child sick in the children’s hospital for 3 years and it warms my heart knowing that complete strangers and big organizations raise funds for these kids. If you do not want to participate then don’t go. If you have a child who is healthy, count your blessings because that is one of the biggest free gifts of life! Remember these hospitals do not turn any sick children away…even if they have no insurance.

  9. Mrs. B

    I took my daughter for a free short stake of pancakes as a treat because she just had to have an EKG, x-Ray, and blood work done. She is14. I tipped my server and walked out happy not feeling guilty at all because my daughter throughly enjoyed them. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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