IHOP restaurant. Long Beach, California
What Sets IHOPs In Vermont Apart
By Betsy Parks
International House of Pancakes (IHOP) devotees know that the syrup selection is one of the best parts of a trip to the pancake palace. However, when the restaurant chain wanted to open its first location in Vermont in 2009, one of the sticking points to becoming the 50th state in the IHOP roster came down to syrup semantics.
One of IHOP’s syrup flavors is called “old-fashioned,” but Vermont had strong feelings about what could be called "old-fashioned maple syrup." The state has a list of statutes defining the laws of maple syrup production (per the Vermont State Legislature), stating, "'Maple syrup' means pure maple syrup which is the liquid derived by concentration and heat treatment of the sap of the maple tree (Acer).”
The general manager and franchise owner of Vermont's first IHOP, Sam Handy Jr., won over hearts and minds by getting special permission from the company to serve the real stuff, sourced from a producer in Hardwick, VT. The South Burlington IHOP is going strong, and it's still the only location out of more than 1,400 restaurants that serves real maple syrup — just the way the locals like it.