To me, IHOP stands for “I’m Happily Overwhelmed with Pancakes.”
That’s because I’ve used all the tricks to get the most free and cheap pancakes I can stomach. You can, too!
Hope you’re hungry. . .
1. Sign up for MyHop and get a free stack of pancakes.
You’ll get a free stack of pancakes immediately when you sign up. Plus you’ll get an offer for free pancakes on your birthday and your sign-up anniversary every year.
2. Reuse your sign-up coupon for free pancakes for two weeks.
Your mileage may vary with this one, but if you ask nicely, your server may accept your free pancake coupon by looking at it on your phone instead of needing a printed coupon.
Again, take it with a grain of salt because it depends 100% on how willing your location is to redeem a coupon that’s not printed.
The coupon expires two weeks from when you signed up and doesn’t have a barcode or anything that would indicate you’ve already used it. Do what you want with that information.
3. Redeem your free pancake coupon as $4.99 off your order instead.
If you hate pancakes, first of all, why are you at IHOP? But if you’re not in the mood for pancakes, find out if you can apply the savings to your order instead of getting free pancakes at IHOP.
I got $4.99 off my $8.99 meal instead of the free stack of pancakes to see if it worked. Your server will redeem it based on the value of a stack of pancakes at your location.
4. Take the survey on your receipt, and get a free stack of pancakes every visit.
Receipt survey offers rotate — it could be a free beverage, or it could even be free pancakes! Enjoy it while it lasts!
The online survey takes three minutes or so, and at the end you’ll get a code you need to write on your receipt when you redeem it for free pancakes on your next visit.
Note that the coupon isn’t valid on your current meal. Also, you need to take the survey within three days and then redeem your coupon within 30 days.
5. Or just make your own IHOP pancakes at home using their recipe.
If you can’t find a coupon for free pancakes, just make your own at home using this recipe.
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix egg and buttermilk and add them to the flour mixture, stirring just until smooth. Add melted butter and sugar. Fry on a greased griddle. Serves four.
6. Kids eat free from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. every day — sorta.
Kids Eat Free isn’t available every night of the week, forever and ever amen, but it’s available at most locations at some point in the year.
Some locations offer it for a month-long promotion a few times a year, and some, like mine, offer it every Thursday. But it’s definitely not like it used to be when the kids could eat free every day at IHOP.
Sign up for IHOP emails and watch for the next one. And always check with your local IHOP to make sure you don’t waste a trip.
7. Get $5 off your first online order of $25 or more.
Order through the IHOP app or order online and you’ll get $5 off an order of $25 or more. Code: IHOPNGO.
Otherwise, the app is just an ordering system. Online, when you enter your specific location, you’ll see exact prices.
8. Score a whopping 16% off by paying with a discounted gift card.
Restaurants tend to have the best savings when it comes to discounted gift cards. IHOP rolls in at 16% savings — definitely worth it.
You can get an e-gift card from Gift Card Granny while you’re eating your meal and use it to pay once you polish off your pancakes.
9. As of last June, IHOP offers craft burgers that rival Red Robin.
I’m not saying IHOP is a true threat to Red Robin, but when IHOP is offering a Black Angus bacon cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato for $8.59 to Red Robin’s $10.99 regular ground beef version, Red Robin customers might notice.
All of IHOP’s Steakburgers are made from Black Angus Beef. Save 30-38% on a burger with the same type of meat when you hit IHOP over Red Robin. In fact, the only thing you might miss is Red Robin’s fries.
10. Get free pancakes on National Pancake Day — March 12 this year.
Just walk in and get one free short stack (three pancakes) per customer. Consider donating, though, because your money will go to Children’s Miracle Network, Shriner’s or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
11. Stop what you’re doing and go to IHOP right now for All You Can Eat Pancakes.
IHOP runs limited-time promotions, and this one is going on now — when you order any breakfast combo (except a Kid’s or Senior meal), you can get as many pancakes as you can fit into your sweet little belly.
12. Work at Denny’s instead of IHOP if you want benefits like insurance.
IHOP’s employee benefits consist of $6 off a meal on your shift (not too bad), and the chance to try out new menu items.
But these pale when compared with Denny’s full-time employee benefits like health, dental, vision and life insurance, along with 401(k) options.
If you’re in the market for a comparable restaurant job, inquire at Denny’s first!
13. Ask for real eggs in your omelet or when you want scrambled eggs.
It’s true — IHOP uses powdered or liquid eggs to make scrambled eggs and omelets. But if you ask for real eggs, they’ll be happy to make your meal that way instead for no extra charge.
14. Kids get a free “Scary Face” Pancake on Halloween from 7 a.m. – 10 a.m.
IHOP’s “Scary Face” pancakes usually consist of two pancakes, a candy corn smile and Oreo eyes. Kids 12 and under can eat free on Halloween morning.
15. Ask your server to warm up the maple syrup for you.
Because perfect pancakes are ruined by cold syrup. You can ask your server to warm up any of your syrups.
16. Order an onion and french fry omelet from the secret menu.
It will taste like a hash brown omelette, but more potatoes never hurt anyone.
17. Pretend you’re fancy and order these five-star dishes off the secret menu.
I bet you never thought IHOP had a classy side.
If you can ignore the fact that you don’t even pay for your meal at your table, I bet you might be able to imagine you’re in a five-star restaurant and not your local IHOP.
- Steak Tartare: First thing you should know is that it’s raw beef. If you’re still reading, IHOP will season it with egg yolk, capers and onions. Or. . . just order the Philly Cheese Steak Stacker and forget about being fancy.
- Prawn Ceviche: Call hours ahead to make sure that when you arrive, the prawns are ready. Eat immediately since the prawns are raw.
- Roquefort Pear Souffle: Roquefort is basically bleu cheese and best part? This dish isn’t raw.
18. Order IHOP delivery through DoorDash — it’s cheaper than UberEats.
In my area, DoorDash and UberEats both deliver IHOP. Since DoorDash is about $1.50 cheaper, I usually order through them.
- DoorDash: $3.99
- UberEats: $5.49
19. Initiate your DoorDash order through Ibotta to get 10% back on your IHOP order.
This is just another savings angle — when you open Ibotta and navigate to DoorDash, you’ll see a coupon for 10% off DoorDash orders. Tap on that offer to place your IHOP order, and you’ll get 10% cash back before taxes and fees.
The money will appear in your PayPal account within about 24 hours.
Surely, 10% back will help cover the $3.99 delivery fee and completely justify getting pancakes delivered to your door.
20. Or get free pickup if you’re willing to drive to the restaurant.
You can always just pick up your order for free and skip DoorDash and Ibotta. Just place your order at IHOP online or through the IHOP app.
21. Best value on the 55+ menu is the Cheese Omelette and the 2x2x2.
The 55+ menu is small, but there are two meals you should always order if you are at least 55 years young.
On the regular menu, the Cheese Omelette is $8.79 and includes no side dishes, but it’s only $6.29 and includes two pancakes on the side when you order from the 55+ menu.
Likewise, the 2 x 2 x 2 meal includes two eggs, two slices bacon or two sausage links and two pancakes for $8.79 on the regular menu, but the same amount of food is only $6.79 on the 55+ menu.
22. Or ask for 10% off the regular menu if you’re 55+.
If the six options on the 55+ menu aren’t doing it for you, just ask for a 10% discount on a regular menu item.
23. Ask for your burger without a bun, and salad instead of fries to keep it low carb.
Low carb, Keto, Paleo — whatever you call it, you can lower your calorie intake by ditching the bun and fries.
24. Healthiest meal on the menu is the Egg White Veggie Omelette.
Did you know if you opt for eggs whites, you’ll subtract 25-70 calories per egg? Same with bacon — if you opt for turkey bacon you can save yourself 10 calories per slice.
The Egg White Veggie Omelette is only 380 calories — even less than a grilled chicken salad.
25. All veterans get a free stack of red, white and blue pancakes for Veterans Day.
And I’m talking even Veterans who only did one tour of duty! You just need to show your Military ID, DD214, or be wearing your uniform to get the free meal.
Hit IHOP on Veterans Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for a free stack of red, white and blue pancakes (strawberries, blueberries and whipped topping).
If Veterans Day is on a Saturday, IHOP will offer this deal on the Friday before. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, get your pancakes the Monday after.
26. IHOP is owned by the same company that owns Applebee’s: Dine Brands.
. . . But unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end. You can’t use gift cards between the two restaurants interchangeably. But an interesting fact nonetheless!