But fans will get an "IOU" they can use in April.

By Tim Nelson
February 17, 2021

In most cases, "National ______ Day" is a flimsy excuse for companies to promote themselves through tangential connections to whatever's being celebrated on that given day. Sometimes, though, you can argue that a particular business, especially in the food world, has license to loudly and proudly celebrate a given national day. IHOP and National Pancake Day come to mind as an especially valid example. 

In a sign of just how much our lives have had to change and adapt over the past year, it gives me no joy to report that even IHOP has had to put its National Pancake Day plans on pause. Under normal circumstances, the International House of Pancakes would be doling out free plates of short stack pancakes to patrons on Mardi Gras, giving pancake fans a feast before they potentially give up circular carbs for Lent. That's obviously a little less advisable at a time when states across the country face at least some restrictions on indoor dining, and wide swaths of the country are staring down bone-chilling temps that'd make outdoor dining rather unappealing. 

The good news is that IHOP isn't going to use the pandemic as an excuse to make people pay for pancakes 365 days a year. Instead of a single day, they're letting fans claim an "IOU" that entitles them to a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes any time in April 2021. To claim the offer, you just have to sign up for their MyHOP rewards program by March 31, and you'll have an IOU for that free stack of pancakes waiting in your inbox on April 1. Existing MyHOP members will get that same offer with no effort required on their part as well. 

So while a pandemic will necessitate logistical changes to a pancake giveaway, it can't stop IHOP from spreading the love entirely. Hopefully National Pancake Day celebrations can proceed as normal by 2022. 

This story originally appeared on allrecipes.com