IHOP's pancake "stimulus." Economic recovery with a spoonful of syrup?

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As my colleague Aaron Crowe recently noted, IHOP will be giving away free pancakes from 7-10 AM on February 24. This event, in honor of National Pancake Day, is designed to inspire patrons to donate money to various charities, notably The Children's Miracle Network.

In other pancake news, IHOP is also offering the "Hungry Consumer Relief Plan," whereby it will be providing patrons "all you can eat" pancakes for approximately $4.99. Prices and availability will vary, depending upon location, but there are rumors that this is a pilot program that will eventually lead to more wide-ranging bottomless plate options.

IHOP is positioning the program as an economic stimulus plan. Personally, I'd argue that the only thing that it will stimulate is a massive spike in blood sugar, followed by several hours of bloated lassitude. Even still, it may well stimulate me to wander down to my nearest IHOP!

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