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IHOP aims to lure families with kids-eat-free promo

GLENDALE Calif. IHOP restaurants on Monday joined the growing number of restaurant chains offering kids-eat-free promotions this summer to combat slowing traffic trends.

Through Sept. 13, participating locations throughout the 1,421-unit IHOP chain are offering one free Kids Meal with the purchase of an adult entrée from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The offer is available for kids 12 and under and only for items on the “Just for Kids” menu. Drinks are not included, unless specified.

“IHOP has always been a destination for families, and we are proud to make spending family time over dinner easy for parents without sacrificing quality and value,” said Carolyn O’Keefe, IHOP’s senior vice president, marketing.

With the ongoing recession forcing consumers to cut back on spending, families in particular appear to be dining out less often together. Earlier this year, market research firm The NPD Group released a study indicating that restaurant visits from families with kids had declined 5 percent for the year.

Other chains are also attempting to bring back family diners with meal deals.

Throughout August, the Lexington, Ky.-based Fazoli’s chain is offering a similar kids-eat-free deal at participating locations within the 250-unit chain. The brand also offers a website where guests can find coupons for free spaghetti:

Marie Callender’s Restaurant and Bakery earlier this month launched a kids-eat-free offer on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the 135-unit chain’s 90 corporate locations, mostly on the West Coast.

Since January, El Torito restaurants, owned by Cypress, Calif.-based Real Mex Restaurants, have offered a kids-eat-free deal on Saturdays until 3 p.m. for kids 12 and under. The company has not specified an end date for the limited-time offer.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

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