Tuesday is National Pancake Day at IHOP. Until 10 p.m., IHOP restaurants nationwide are offering guests a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. In return for the free pancakes, guests are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to support the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital or another local charity. The seventh annual promotion raises awareness for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities.
IHOP's National Pancake Day promotion is timed around Shrove Tuesday, which is observed in a bunch of countries as Pancake Day after the tradition of eating pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season.
IHOP doesn't necessarily hold its Pancake Day promotion on Shrove Tuesday itself. This year, Pancake Day comes one week after Shrove Tuesday; last year, when IHOP served four million free pancakes and raised more than $2.5 million, National Pancake Day fell on March 1 week before Shrove Tuesday. The explanation for the scheduling, IHOP says, is to allow for a full month of fundraising for the Children's Miracle Network.