Dozens celebrate National Pancake Day with free pancakes at IHOP

Julia Medina

The doors to Fullerton’s IHOP restaurant were in constant motion on Tuesday. Swinging open and letting in groups of all sizes. What was their purpose? They were there to claim his or her free stack of pancakes.

Get your pancakes!
IHOP in Fullerton on free national pancake day Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

Despite a slow start, this year’s National Pancake Day in Fullerton attracted an eager and diverse crowd. Slowly but surely families, couples and lone bodies began to trickle into the parking lot and into the waiting room for their late-morning breakfast.

“I came for the free pancakes,” college student Justin Gonzalez said while dunking his pancakes in the maple syrup in front of him. He found time to come in between his classes.

Families of all sizes also came in to celebrate the iconic breakfast food.

“This is like a family affair. It gives us a chance to catch up and enjoy each other’s company while eating delicious pancakes,” Lindsay Hatcher said. This was Hatcher and her family’s fourth year celebrating National Pancake Day.

Buttermilk pancakes
Pancakes ready to be served to guests on free pancake day. Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

Despite a national campaign to promote this event many patrons walked in oblivious to what would await them.

“I came to grab some coffee and catch up with my friend and they told us they were giving away free pancakes. Who would say no to free pancakes,” Yadira Gomez said chowing down on her buttermilk surprise.

Family Breakfest
Lindsey Hatcher and her family eating breakfast at IHOP during national pancake day Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

“I think it’s a great idea and it’s for a terrific cause,” Marcia Pecsi said. Pecsi, Fullerton College alum, walked in with her family and was greeted by the attentive servers.

In order to pull off an event like this general manager Rita Diaz made sure to have as many people on hand.

The staff’s effort did not go unnoticed by patrons who applauded their friendly and timely attitude.

Waiting for pancakes
IHOP guests Joes Pesci, Leona Pesci, and Marcia Pesci waiting for their pancakes on free national pancake day. Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

“I like to be efficient by asking [guests] if they are here strictly for pancakes or if they wanted to look at a menu” Galicia explained.

According to her, this allows her to cut down on time by giving the cooks a head start so that they can get the food done quicker.

Soon after a busboy is heard shouting “Table ready” in the background and with that Galicia promptly returned to her guests.

This was IHOP’s 11th year celebrating the popular breakfast item, which helps raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

Full House
A full house at IHOP during national pancake day. Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

According to its website the CMN uses 100 percent of the funds raised to help local children’s hospital.

Last year Diaz managed to raise $1,900 for CHOC in Orange and was looking forward to surpass it this year.

“People have been really generous with their donations so far,” Diaz said. She spoke about a guest who contributed $40, exceeding the amount that is typically asked.

On the clock!
Servers Sonia, Fabiola, and Adriana next to their manager Rita on national pancake day Photo credit: Marlon Rizo

As the day wore on, morning
guests left only to be replaced with a new crowd of bodies excited to claim
their stack of pancakes. And at Fullerton’s IHOP the staff was more than ready
to handle the demand.