Dodge City's new IHOP Restaurant opened Tuesday and a steady stream of hungry customers showed up to help the staff get things rolling.
Bashir Al, district manager for the IHOP franchise, was busy attending to details. The Dodge City IHOP is the eighth restaurant opening he's participated in.
"So far, no problems here," he said.
"The city helped us get what we needed fast and our new staff have been great," he said.
"We're trying our best to make our guests very happy and so far everybody has been nice."
Bashir said the new establishment would need help from everybody in the community as they get up and running.
The restaurant will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for about two weeks. When they have their third shift workers trained and the operations are rolling along smoothly, they'll go to the chain's signature 24/7 hours of operation with breakfast, lunch and dinner available at all times.
"Then we lose the key," Bashir said.
On Feb. 5, a week before National Pancake Day, the Dodge City IHOP, along with it's sister restaurants across south central Kansas, will offer free pancakes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Customers can get a short stack of three buttermilk pancakes and IHOP will donate the meal cost to Children's Miracle Network hospitals at Via Christi Health.
The effort raised nearly $7,000 last year for young patients across 64 counties. Nationwide, the day raised more than $5.35 million.
"The money we collect locally stays in the community," Bashir said.
"We want to help Dodge City, our new community."
Local interest in the opening of the IHOP has included questions about their menu.
Although pancakes are in their name, the restaurant's menu offers choices appropriate for any meal of the day.
The menu begins with nine omelettes plus a create-your-own choice. The omelettes range from $7.99 to $8.99 depending on the filling you prefer.
The list of Breakfast Combinations ranges from Pigs in Blankets ($5,99) to T-Bone Steak and Eggs ($14.99).
The options also include French toast, waffles and oatmeal.
And, of course, pancakes.
Eight flavors of pancakes are offered: Double Blueberry, New York Cheesecake, Cinn-A-Stack, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Banana, Harvest Nut N' Grain, Whole Wheat with Blueberries and Original Buttermilk.
A "Simple & Fit" component of the menu offers choices under 600 calories and suggestion on how to cut calories from your breakfast choice: hold the butter or whipped topping, ask for sugar-free syrup, ask for egg substitute, use sugar substitute, ask for 2 percent milk, and hold the cheese or ask for less.
The menu also offers egg substitues, turkey bacon substitue and sugar-free syrup at no additional cost.
Page 2 of 2 - If you're dining later in the day, you may wish to choose sweet or savory crepes.
The savory choices include a garden crepe with swiss cheese, eggs, spinach, mushrooms and onion. The crepes are topped with Hollandaise sauce and diced tomatoes.
There's also a chicken Florentine crepe.
The list of sandwiches includes the classic IHOP burger.
There's a page of specialy entrees for the 55-and-over set, with 10 selections, and a page "Just for Kids," with 13 items.