Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: IHOPRestaurant Insider
September 12, 2021
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
ANNE LEE speaks with IHOP airport location general manager CHASTITY BRADY
In 1958, International House of Pancakes (aka IHOP) first opened its doors in Los Angeles. In 1960, the company expanded with franchising opportunities and brought the restaurants to Hawaii. This led to filling our bellies with their world-famous pancakes.
I met with Chastity Brady, the general manager at the IHOP airport location, who has been with this locally owned and operated restaurant since 2006.
With a mixed clientele of visitors, military and locals, she shared what makes IHOP so special, as we tasted some of their bestselling breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Be on the lookout for the white star in a blue circle when reading the menu, as these are IHOP’s signature dishes. Who said you can’t have breakfast for dinner?
AL: How did you start your career with IHOP?
CB: I was going to college, majoring in Hawaiian studies on Maui, and started working at the IHOP there as a server. When I finished school, I came back home to Oahu, and continued my role with IHOP at the former Pearl City location. Even with my degree, my role within this restaurant grew over the years, and I really love working for them. This is a locally owned restaurant group, and I have been with them since 2006. There really is a sense of family and we’re treated very well.
AL: What does IHOP bring to the Hawaii dining culture?
CB:What many people do not realize is that we are owned and operated locally. We provide high standards in each of our dishes consistently. My team provides that sense of ohana warmth that we have in each of our restaurants, as well as a memorable dining experience. Breakfast is the busiest time, but you can access the full menu anytime of the day — breakfast, lunch or dinner.
AL: What items did you select for us to feature?
CB: From our omelets menu, we have the bestselling Big Steak ($19.99). It has a good portion of steak, hash browns, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, and is topped with cheddar cheese and a side of salsa. Our omelets are made with a splash of buttermilk and wheat pancake batter, and served with a choice of three-stack buttermilk pancakes, hash browns, fresh fruit or toast.
I wanted to feature The Classic burger with bacon ($14.49). It’s topped with bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and IHOP’s signature sauce, and served with your choice of french fries, onion rings, fresh fruit, two buttermilk pancakes or a side salad. Our customers come in for burgers even for breakfast.
From our burritos and bowls section, we are featuring a new item that is prepared traditional style with rice. The New Mexico Chicken Burrito ($16.99) features grilled chicken, bacon pieces, green peppers and onions, tomatoes, queso, shredded jack and cheddar, avocado, a rice medley and side of salsa.
We also wanted to feature our world-famous pancakes, including the Strawberry Banana ($15.59), which comes with four pancakes filled with fresh banana slices, topped with glazed strawberries and more banana slices, and a rosette of whipped cream.
AL: What other specials do you currently offer?
CB: Each IHOP location has its own promotion. At my airport location, we have a Fried Rice Special ($12.99), which includes fried rice, four pieces of meat and two eggs.
Our in-house special is our Cinnastack French Toast or Cinnastack Pancakes ($12.99 each). This is a cinnamon glaze with icing and topped with whipped cream. This was a promotion that we featured earlier but brought back for this month due to its popularity.
IHOP8 is our happy hour. From burgers to omelets, all items on this menu are $8 from 2 to 9 p.m. We do offer special value meals for guests age 55 and older, or 10% off regular menu items, as well as a kids menu for guests 12 and under, and 10% off for our military customers.
AL: IHOP has incorporated a new, easy online ordering system. Can you tell me more about it?
CB: Guests can go to ihop. com and click on locations and select the restaurant that they want to pick up from. They can pick the time that they want the order to be ready, and choose from a full menu of options. We do offer a third-party delivery service for those that do not want to leave their home: Uber Eats, Bite Squad and Grubhub.
AL: Anything else you’d like to share about the restaurant?
CB: We offer gluten-friendly pancakes or waffles, and some omelets made with all vegetables that can be prepared with cage-free egg whites. We also have turkey bacon as an option for a meat selection.
My team is pretty awesome and some have been with the company a long time: lead crew chief Connie Gadley (been with the company since 2008), crew chief Ruel Castro (2010), servers Jerane Rivera (2010) and Samantha Wilson (2012), and lead cook Liane Hernandez (2016).