Previous PageBack to 2019 News


Scout Elves Take over the IHOP Kitchen to Create a Whimsical Lineup of Holiday-Inspired Menu Items Plus a Kids Eat Free Offer

Glendale, Calif., Nov. 4, 2019 – Guests everywhere will want to be good for pancake sake. Today, IHOP® announced a new limited-time menu in partnership with the beloved holiday tradition, The Elf on the Shelf®.  On the way back to the North Pole, a few adventurous Scout Elves snuck into the IHOP kitchen to whip up special, elvish treats for guests of all ages. Using signature IHOP ingredients and a little bit of magic, the Scout Elves turned the IHOP kitchen upside down to create holiday-inspired items like Jolly Cakes – fluffy, green pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing and shimmery elf sprinkles, – Oh What Funnel Cakes and more. The limited time The Elf on the Shelf menu is available at participating IHOP restaurants nationwide now through the end of the year.

To help keep a close watch on who’s being nice, every IHOP restaurant has adopted its own Scout Elf™. Guests are encouraged to try and spot the Scout Elf in different hiding spots every day, watching closely for any shenanigans the elf creates in the restaurant. Parents are also getting a special treat this holiday season; kids 12 and under eat free with the purchase of one adult entrée every day from 4-10 PM, now through January 1, 2020.*

The Elf on the Shelf menu is available now through January 1, and includes:

  • Jolly Cakes: Four fluffy green pancakes topped with sweet cream cheese icing, whipped topping and shimmery elf sprinkles that resemble elf-sized ornaments. Also available as a side.
  • Oh What Funnel Cakes: Two golden, crispy funnel cakes, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with glazed strawberries, whipped topping and shimmery elf sprinkles.
  • Holiday Ham & Sausage Omelette: A fluffy omelette loaded with diced ham & sausage, fire roasted peppers & onions, hash browns and Jack & Cheddar cheese, then topped with more diced ham & sausage, Cheddar cheese and White Cheddar cheese sauce. Served with three pancakes or a choice of side.
  • Merry Marshmallow Hot Chocolate: Rich hot chocolate flavored with toasted marshmallow syrup and topped with whipped topping and shimmery elf sprinkles.
  • Little Elves Combo: Choice of 1 Jolly Cake topped with cream cheese icing, whipped topping and sprinkles or 1 Oh What Funnel Cake topped with powdered sugar, whipped topping and sprinkles with 1 scrambled egg, 1 bacon strip and 1 pork sausage link.

“We’re so excited to ring in the holidays by announcing a partnership between IHOP and The Elf on the Shelf, two beloved, family brands,” said Alisa Gmelich, Vice President, Marketing at IHOP. “Our culinary team returned one morning to our kitchens only to find that Scout Elves had snuck in and created colorful, whimsical food that deserved its own menu — although in typical elf fashion, they left behind a bit of a holiday magic.”

A significant part of The Elf on the Shelf tradition is the Welcome Back Breakfast, the moment every year when each family’s Scout Elf returns home for the holidays. This year, IHOP invites guests across the country to join in the world’s largest Welcome Back Breakfast event ever, hosted in honor of IHOP’s special holiday guests – the Scout Elves. The breakfast celebration will kick off #ScoutElfReturnWeek; starting on Friday, Nov. 29 and ending on Sunday, Dec. 1, kids who visit participating IHOP locations will receive a special Elf-themed activity sheet along with their meal.

“Our restaurants are going all out in welcoming back the elves who now call IHOP home,” Gmelich continued. “We’re hosting the world’s biggest Welcome Back Breakfast celebration throughout the holiday season and showing off the elves’ ingenious recipes, like green Jolly Cakes with cream cheese icing and sparkly ornament sprinkles, golden Oh What Funnel Cakes, a loaded Ham & Sausage Omelette and more.”

“The Scout Elves are excited to bring a little piece of Mrs. Claus’ kitchen to the human world,” said Chanda Bell, The Elf on the Shelf Co-Author. “My apologies to IHOP for the invasion! Once word reached the Scout Elves that their favorite ingredients were stocked in the IHOP kitchens, and that kids would be there too, there was nothing any of us could do to stop it! We hope that just as families enjoy celebrating The Elf on the Shelf tradition in their homes, they’ll equally experience the magic of the elves and their culinary talent at IHOP restaurants across the country this season.”

To view The Elf on the Shelf ad campaign, click here.

The Elf on the Shelf menu is available at IHOP restaurants nationwide from November 4, 2019 through January 1, 2020. For more information or to find the nearest location, visit

*From 4 PM to 10 PM, kids 12 and under receive a free entrée from the kids menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. For a limited time at participating locations. Drinks not included unless otherwise specified. Not valid with any other discounts or coupons. Dine-in only.


For over 61 years, IHOP has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh, made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items, including Ultimate Steakburgers. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of December 31, 2018, there are 1,831 IHOP restaurants around the world, including restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Thailand and India. IHOP restaurants are franchised by affiliates of Glendale, Calif.-based Dine Brands Global, Inc. (NYSE:  DIN).

About The Elf on the Shelf®

The Elf on the Shelf®, created by CCA and B, LLC and written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell, is a best-selling Christmas picture book that comes complete with one of Santa's Scout Elves. Capturing the hearts of children everywhere, the magical Scout Elves help Santa manage his nice list by taking note of a family's Christmas adventures, and then report them back to Santa. Each morning, the Scout Elf returns to its family and perches in a new spot, waiting for someone to spot them. Children love to wake up and race around the house looking for the Scout Elf each morning. To learn more, visit