IHOP'S Free Pancake Giveaway Returns Feb 23, 2010
Goal Is to Raise a Cumulative $5 Million for Charity in First Five Years of Annual National Pancake Day Celebration
GLENDALE, CA (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has announced plans to serve millions of free pancakes again next year in celebration of National Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. Planned as a celebration of friends, family and community, IHOP hopes the program will raise $1.75 million for Children's Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization that raises funds for children's hospitals, and other worthy local causes.
2010 will mark IHOP's fifth year celebrating the national event and the company has set an ambitious goal to raise a cumulative $5 million for charity in the first five years of its free flapjack philanthropic effort. More than 1,400 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will once again invite guests to enjoy a free short stack of IHOP's signature buttermilk pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on National Pancake Day. In return, IHOP guests are asked to donate what they would have paid for the free pancakes, or more, to the Children's Miracle Network hospital in their community, or another designated local cause.
"We are flipping for 'five in five' with our 2010 National Pancake Day campaign, and with our guests' generous support, plan to reach our goal of $5 million in five years," said Carolyn O'Keefe, IHOP's senior vice president, marketing. "IHOP's franchisees and guests have raised more than $3.25 million to support Children's Miracle Network and other local charities since we started our National Pancake Day in 2006. The day has become a tradition for families and friends who wish to enjoy great food and great service while helping out a great cause."
Children's Miracle Network "Miracle Balloons" will be sold for $1 and $5 each and will be personalized and displayed at participating IHOP restaurants from February 1 through February 23, 2010. Miracle Balloon sales offer guests another way to show their support of Children's Miracle Network and contribute to the National Pancake Day fundraising effort.
In 2009, IHOP gave away three million pancakes and raised nearly $1.5 million in support of Children's Miracle Network and other local charities, far exceeding its goal to raise $1 million. Since starting its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has given away more than 6.1 million free pancakes to benefit children's charities -- that stacks up more than 53.5 miles high!
ABOUT CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK
Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals. Countless individuals, 90 organizations and 400 media partners unite with Children's Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children's Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of 17 million children each year.
For 51 years, the IHOP family restaurant chain has served its world famous pancakes and a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are loved by people of all ages. IHOP offers its guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. The first IHOP opened in Toluca Lake, Calif. in 1958, and as of September 30, 2009, there were 1,433 IHOPs in 50 states, Canada and Mexico. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).
***NOTE: For centuries, the English have 'flipped' for pancakes in celebration of Shrove Tuesday, which heralds the beginning of fasting during Lent. Long ago, strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products . . . hence the name Pancake Tuesday. While IHOP's National Pancake Day typically takes place on Shrove Tuesday, this year the company will host its free pancake event on Tuesday, February 23, extending the fundraising window by one week to maximize donations for Children's Miracle Network.