IHOP 'Pancake Day': Good cakes for good cause

Happy National Pancake Day to you!

Local IHOPs across the country are giving away free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes today, but they're asking for a donation to a well-known charity in return.

Free pancake day started at 7 am Tuesday morning, and local managers say they expect the number of customers they usually serve to double today.

But it's the donations IHOP will make today to the Shriners Children's Hospitals and Charities that make the effort worth it for two local IHOP managers.

"National Pancake Day really is my favorite day of the year. I enjoy working it. Every year we have more and more response from the community. It's the best day. It makes you feel so good to know that you're making a difference in children's lives," says Carol Ghergherehchi, Lufkin's IHOP manager.

Last year, IHOP served 4 million free pancakes on Pancake Day and raised over $2.5 million for Shriners Charities -- which makes this one of the busiest days of the year behind the scenes to make sure you get those pancakes.

"We just get extra people. We keep a full 8 servers from 7:00 to 10:00 at night. Four cooks, four dishwashers. We just overstaff," says Pam Franklin, Tyler's IHOP manager.

But Franklin says the atmosphere surrounding free pancake day makes it all worth it.

"It's something that everybody looks forward to at this time of year. We have clowns. We have balloon people making toys for the children. And everybody's just here waiting in line, talking and having a good time," she says.

You can go to your local IHOP for free buttermilk pancakes from 7 am until 10 pm tonight.

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