GLENDALE, CA, Jan 04, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) --IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, will once again invite guests to enjoy free pancakes while supporting a worthy cause as part of the company's philanthropic National Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Setting its most ambitious fundraising objective yet at $2.7 million, the family-friendly restaurant chain hopes that this seventh year will be lucky for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.
"Although every day can be made an IHOP day, there is only one National Pancake Day, so we look forward to seeing our regulars and new guests on February 28," said Jean Birch, IHOP's president. "The generosity of our guests, franchisees and team members is evidence of what makes IHOP special, and what has allowed us to surpass our ambitious fundraising targets each year. Our goal is to make this seventh year the most successful to date, and bring the cumulative total raised for charities to more than $10 million."
On National Pancake Day, more than 1,500 IHOP restaurants throughout the United States will serve each guest a free short stack of IHOP's signature buttermilk pancakes all day long, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. In return, guests are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to support the local Children's Miracle Network Hospital or another local charity. Guest donations have helped Children's Miracle Network Hospitals purchase equipment and fund a variety of life-saving procedures and treatments for seriously ill or injured children.
Participating IHOP restaurants will also raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals during the month of February through the sale of "Miracle Balloons" for $1 and $5 each. Personalized and displayed in the restaurants, Miracle Balloons offer guests an additional way to show their support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and contribute to the IHOP National Pancake Day fundraising effort. Guests who purchase a $5 Miracle Balloon will receive a coupon good for $5 off their next visit with a $20 purchase.
National Pancake Day is the best known of IHOP's initiatives to support the communities in which it operates. Since the first celebration of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP, its guests, franchisees and team members have raised nearly $8 million. In 2011 alone, IHOP served more than four million free pancakes and raised more than $2.5 million in support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.
For more information about IHOP's National Pancake Day, or to learn more about Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and make an online donation, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.
ABOUT CHILDREN'S MIRACLE NETWORK HOSPITALS Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at CMNHospitals.org.
ABOUT IHOP For 53 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. As of September 30, 2011, there were 1,532 IHOPs in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Under the licensed name IHOP at HOME(TM) consumers can also enjoy a line of premium breakfast products available at leading retailers. 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 TO EDITORS: Pancake Day is a tradition that dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. 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, or Shrove Tuesday. To allow for a full month of fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, IHOP's National Pancake Day will take place a week after Shrove Tuesday, on Tuesday, February 28.