15 Pros and Cons of Working for IHOP

IHOP, which stands for International House of Pancakes, serves breakfast 24 hours a day.

Their menu also includes traditional lunch and dinner options, including hamburgers. 

Employees have mixed reviews about working for the company.

Some love it, some hate it, and some explain the good and the bad of working for the restaurant. 

Pros of Working for IHOP

Working for IHOP does have some benefits.

Let’s take a look at some of the pros employees love the most. 

Pros of working at IHOP include:

  1. No Experience Required
  2. Benefits
  3. Flexible Schedule
  4. Plenty of Hours
  5. Learning New Skills
  6. Interacting with Customers
  7. Team Atmosphere 
  8. Second Chance Employer

No Experience Required

One of the great things about IHOP, and restaurants in general, is that you don’t have to have previous experience to get hired.

If you are looking for your first job, or simply want to try your hand at food service, you can do so at IHOP. 

Working there gives you valuable work experience, which can be helpful if you want to find another job down the road. 


IHOP offers its full-time employees a benefits package, which includes medical, vision, and dental insurance.

You’ll also receive paid vacation time.  

Considering the cost of insurance today, this can be very important. 

Flexible Schedule

IHOP also offers some flexibility in your schedule.

However, this can vary from store to store.

Some employees state that employees who are in school, have a family, or have another job can easily get the hours they want.

This is one of the reasons many people choose to work at IHOP. 

However, if you don’t have these obligations, you may be expected to work the hours you are needed, regardless of your personal preferences. 

This is fairly standard for restaurants, but it can be frustrating or seem unfair. 

Plenty of Hours

IHOP has both full and part-time positions.

If you are a full-time employee, you can expect to get 40 hours a week or more.

Many restaurants don’t provide this many hours.

If you are trying to support a family or pay the bills, these hours can help keep you afloat. 

Learning New Skills

You may not expect working at IHOP to prepare you for a more lucrative career in the future.

However, the experience does help you learn skills that you’ll use throughout your career and your life.

You’ll work as part of a team.

You’ll need to learn to communicate and get along with coworkers, and to work effectively with them.

You’ll also learn time management, organization, and how to cope with a fast-paced environment. 

If you are a server or host, you’ll also gain customer service skills.

These skills can help you if you pursue a different career path, because many jobs require interacting with customers.  

Interacting with Customers

Many servers mention interacting with customers as a pro of working for IHOP.

If you are a people person, you’ll enjoy this aspect of the job.

You’ll meet many types of people.

You also have the opportunity to brighten someone’s day with a kind word or a friendly smile.

When you smile, your brain releases chemicals that reduce stress and make you feel happier, so being friendly with customers can actually boost your mood. 

Team Atmosphere

IHOP has a team atmosphere, which can make working there more enjoyable.

Most employees say they feel like part of a team or family, which gives them a sense of belonging. 

Second Chance Employer

IHOP is a second-chance employer.

This means that they will hire you if you have been convicted of a felony.

In fact, they may choose those with convictions over other candidates. 

Many jobs today will not hire felons, so it’s important to have companies like IHOP.

They really can give you the second chance you need. 


Some IHOP locations give their employees free food or discounted meals.

This can make grabbing a bite on your lunch break less expensive and more convenient. 

Some locations also offer an employee discount program that features discounts on a variety of things, including clothing, electronics, and gym memberships.  

Cons of Working for IHOP

Working for IHOP has it’s advantages.

Of course, there are also some downsides.

Let’s learn about the not-so-great aspects of being an IHOP employee. 

Cons of working for IHOP include:

  1. Pay for Servers is Unpredictable
  2. Demanding Work
  3. Fast Paced 
  4. Long and Unpredictable Hours
  5. Employee Meal Plan
  6. Under or Over staffed
  7. Extra Work

Pay for Servers is Unpredictable

If you work as a server, you can expect your pay to be unpredictable.

Servers are paid a low wage.

Their wage and tips combined are expected to add up to minimum wage or more. 

However, this isn’t always the case.

You may have days where you do very well, and days when you are disappointed at the end of the day.

This is true for any server position, but it’s something you should be aware of. 

Tips are affected by many things, including how busy the restaurant is, and how well the restaurant is functioning.

If customers have to wait a long time for their food, for example, they are less likely to tip. 

Demanding Work

The restaurant business is physically and mentally demanding, and this applies to IHOP.

You’ll be on your feet for long periods of time.

If you are a server, there’s a lot of walking involved.

You’ll also need to carry out plates of food, which can be heavy. 

If you work in the kitchen, the temperature can get hot.

You’ll also be expected to lift food and drink items, which can be heavy. 

In addition, the work can be mentally demanding.

You’ll need to multitask and pay attention to detail. 

Fast Paced 

IHOP can be very fast-paced.

Cooks and servers are expected to get food out to customers quickly, which gets tough when there’s a rush.

Some employees enjoy this, and say it makes the day go by faster. 

However, it is stressful, and this can take a toll on some people.

If you aren’t comfortable in a fast-paced environment, IHOP isn’t a great job for you. 

Long and Unpredictable Hours

Full-time employees can work long shifts, from 8 to 12 hours long.

Some employees say that they get few breaks on their shifts as well. 

The hours can also be unpredictable.

You may find yourself working both day and night shifts in the same week.

Because IHOP is open 24 hours, the hours can vary greatly. 

Regardless of whether you are part-time or full-time, you’ll be expected to work some holidays and weekends.

IHOP is open all the time, even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

So, someone has to work these undesirable shifts. 

Most employees aren’t a fan of this aspect of the job. 

Employee Meal Plan

While many employees enjoy free or discounted meals, others are subjected to the employee meal plan.

This depends on your location.

The employee meal plan means that you’ll be charged a specified amount for each shift, usually $4 or $10. 

This allows you to get a meal during your shift, without being charged for it.

Unfortunately, you’ll pay for the meal regardless of whether or not you get food that day. 

While the meal plan is meant to save employees money, it is at best not very effective at meeting this goal. 

Under or Over staffed

Most restaurants have fairly predictable rushes.

You can expect them to be very busy for a few hours during lunch, and again at dinner.

However, IHOP is much less predictable.

Rushes seem to be random. 

 This makes it hard to schedule the right amount of staff, because slow periods require fewer employers than busy periods. 

If the restaurant is overstaffed, it can be crowded.

Servers will compete for tables, because tips are the majority of their pay.

More servers mean fewer customers per server during slow periods. 

On the other hand, if you are understaffed, everyone is overworked.

This affects employees and customers. 

Extra Work

IHOP employees mention having to do extra work often.

Servers are expected to do side work, which is standard for restaurants.

This can include things like rolling silverware or busing tables. 

However, they are also expected to bring food out for table that aren’t in their section, if the server is busy. 

Cooks also complain about doing extra work.

They say that some servers have the cooks do things that are the job of the servers. 

15 Pros and Cons of Working for IHOP – Summary Table

Pros of Working for IHOPCons of Working for IHOP
No Experience RequiredPay for Servers is Unpredictable
BenefitsDemanding Work
Plenty of HoursFast Paced
Learning New SkillsEmployee Meal Plan
Interacting with CustomersUnder or Over staffed
Team AtmosphereExtra Work
Second Chance Employer

Should You Work at IHOP?

IHOP can be a good job for many people.

If you are looking for your first job, it’s a good choice.

It’s also ideal if you enjoy a fast-paced environment, and enjoy interacting with customers.

If you have a felony conviction, IHOP should be at the top of your list. 

However, this job isn’t for everyone.

If you have a hard time dealing with stress, you’ll hate it here.

If you only want to work regular hours, IHOP probably won’t work well for you. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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