CHICAGO — Whoever said there's no such thing as a free lunch — or breakfast, or dinner — clearly never went to IHOP on National Pancake Day.
The restaurant chain is offering customers a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes on Tuesday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., at all of its Chicago locations.
The catch: Diners will be asked to make a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, which locally translates to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
"Money raised in the community stays in the community," said IHOP spokesman Craig Hoffman.
IHOP served 4 million free flapjacks and raised nearly $3 million nationwide in 2012, he said.
Though the company doesn't track how many diners take "free" at face value and opt out of donating, Hoffman noted that the company has collected more than $10 million since it introduced the promotion in 2006.
"We consider that a fair trade," he said.
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