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IHOP canceled National Pancake Day, but you can still get free pancakes

IHOP canceled National Pancake Day on Tuesday due to the pandemic, but customers can still get a free short stack in April by using a coupon.
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IHOP cancelled its annual National Pancake Day on Tuesday due to the pandemic, but is offering a coupon for a free short stack that can be redeemed in April.Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

National Pancake Day at IHOP has been cancelled due to the pandemic, but that doesn't mean you still can't get some free pancakes.

The company announced Tuesday that pancake lovers can still get a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes through IHOP's IOU program, which requires customers to sign for the MyHOP email club by March 31 to receive a coupon.

The coupon can be redeemed on any day during April. Normally customers could only get the free pancakes by dining at an IHOP restaurant, but this year, orders through the IHOP website or mobile app are eligible for the coupon offer.

For those who don't sign up for the email club, you can download a coupon on the IHOP website or app for a free short stack in April that can be redeemed with a minimum purchase of $10 in participating restaurants.

The free pancakes cannot be redeemed at IHOP restaurants in New York or Washington, D.C., and participation and hours may vary by location. The company recommends customers contact their local IHOP restaurant for details.

The popular promotion usually occurs on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday for one day only, but has now been expanded to a month. Like many restaurant chains, IHOP has felt the effects of the pandemic, announcing it October that it will close nearly 100 underperforming locations as it deals with slumping sales.

"For more than 15 years, National Pancake Day has historically been one of our busiest days of the year, and a moment we’ve celebrated with our guests, but the health and safety of our guests and Team Members will always remain our number one priority at this time, so we knew this year’s celebration had to look different," IHOP president Jay Johns said in a statement to TODAY Food.

"Rather than cancel the day completely during a time when everyone could use a little hoppiness, we decided to flip the day to a month-long event to give everyone the flexibility to enjoy a free Short Stack whenever they would like, while also supporting our national charity partner Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals," the statement continues. "While we can wait to reconvene guests under our blue to pancake together, supporting our charity partners is something that cannot wait."

IHOP is the latest large chain to cancel, alter or postpone an annual giveaway day during the pandemic. Chick-fil-A postponed its annual Cow Appreciation Day in July, Ben & Jerry's cancelled Free Cone Day last April and 7-Eleven canceled its free Slurpee day in July, instead providing customers in its loyalty program with a coupon.