Wednesday, January 07, 2009

All You Can Eat Pancakes?

I recently saw a TV ad proclaiming that all-you-can-eat pancakes are back at IHOP. Apparently this is a promotion they occasionally have, and now is one of those times.

But what I'm wondering is, are there people who really like that many pancakes? When I go to IHOP and get something that comes with the usual short stack, that is plenty for me - usually more than plenty.

I guess I can see how this might work as a promotion, reminding people of their love of pancakes and making them go to IHOP. But I seriously wonder if very many people at all - even people attracted to the idea of all-you-can-eat pancakes - actually want more than a normal-sized order.


The author of this post is not responsible for any pancake cravings you may experience after reading it.


Sally said...

All right, I'll come clean, since this post is obvious sally-bait :)

I did once order the all-you-can-eat pancake thing a couple of years ago. I think I ate about 4 pancakes. But since the promotion comes with buttermilk pancakes rather than my old favorite cream-of-wheat-based pancakes or current favorite nutrigrain pancakes, it was good, but not fantastic.

We ate at IHOP *3* times on my recent two-week vacation, each time at my request. I did not get the all-you-can-eat (which I don't think had started again) but can attest that 4 nutrigrain pancakes is too much even for me, even when I'm only eating pancakes with some bacon. I ate about 2 and donated the rest of the pancakes as dessert to my non-breakfast-eating companions.

As to the promotion, I think that pancake lovers like me have cravings that exceed their appetite, so the idea of AYCE can be appealing, while in reality, people aren't going to eat like 10 pancakes (usually). And we have to remember that IHOP pancakes are much smaller than typical diner pancakes - they fit on a small plate rather than a large plate, unlike e.g. Kerby Lane, Magnolia Cafe, that diner in Denver we have gone to a few times.

Pancakes are also infamously cheap to make, so it's not like the minority of people who do eat 10 pancakes are going to be bust IHOP economically (I think).

But yeah, I think it's mostly a matter of getting people excited about having pancakes and feeling that they can have as many as they want, a complete indulgence. (Even if ultimately, that number isn't more than would come with one of their regular menu orders.)

Fortunately, I am pancaked out at the moment, but thinking about IHOP makes me crave the hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate chips that my dad ordered there. I don't even like hot chocolate, but the cream/chips on top was fab.

Tam said...

It really is hard to imagine losing money on AYCE pancakes even if you get a super pancake eater. What could they possibly cost to make?

Debbie M said...

This post could be mild Debbie bait, too. One of my fondest memories is when my Aunt R made silver dollar pancakes. She'd put each batch on the table, fresh from the skillet, and we'd all grab one and then keep eating and eating until they ran out.

To this day, I think this is how pancakes should be served. Even now that I have R's electrical griddle and I can make 8 regular 3-inch pancakes at one time, then even when I don't have 7 friends over to help me, I eat one pancake from each batch.

However, nowadays I'm not happy with just pancakes, not even hearty pancakes. I always want some kind of protein to go with it. Normally I order an egg to go with pancakes at restaurants or drink milk with pancakes at home.

At home, I probably eat about six of my pancakes when I first make them (so yummy), but only 2-3 per meal from the leftovers (a much more reasonable quantity). [Unlike you, I think pancakes + milk = meal. To be fair, my pancakes do have whole grains and (usually) bananas, so this does come out to three food groups.]

To directly answer your question, no, I do not want more than a normal-sized order. That's partly because a normal-sized order is generally far more than I can eat. It's also because with a normal order, I get to bring home leftovers.

Tam said...

We had homemade, whole wheat pancakes fresh off the griddle at my aunt's in Nashville. It was awesome! She put them in a big pool of butter too. And we had real maple syrup. Yumlicious!

Sally said...

IMO, pancakes are a food that does not heat up well and the idea of cold pancakes is not very appealing, so the leftovers concept doesn't work for me. I also really want to have all of my pancakes at once, which is a luxury compared to the frustrating eking out one pancake at a time way I ate them growing up.