IHOP Just Made A Big Addition To Its Menu

Many chain restaurants have been expanding their menus in recent years to feed a wider variety of people. Following the lead of Burger King and its Impossible Whopper, McDonald's gave a plant-based burger a trial run in 2021, while KFC started 2022 off with plant-based fried chicken for customers who want the taste and crunch of fried chicken without the whole chicken part.

It's not just meat. The fast food industry has also started to provide alternative menu items for customers with other dietary restrictions. Five Guys, for example, has an entire chart on its website for food-related allergies, and its menu is already fairly gluten-free (via Greatist). Wendy's and Chick-fil-A, though not completely gluten-free, have a variety of menu items that are either gluten-free or can be customized to be gluten-free.

According to Food Business News, the market for gluten-free foods has been increasing about 12% each year, so it's actually not too surprising that so many restaurants are trying to hop on this trend. More than three million Americans try to avoid gluten, Forbes says, and that's a lot of potential customers. 

Gluten-friendly pancakes, hot off the griddle

IHOP kicked off the new year with the addition of nine gluten-friendly menu items. Although the chain doesn't just serve pancakes, they are a best-selling breakfast item at IHOP — and a major culprit for containing gluten (via WebMD).

Fortunately for gluten-avoidant pancake lovers, IHOP now has you covered. The restaurant's pancakes and waffles (combos included) are now available as gluten-friendly options, says FSR Magazine. Other gluten-friendly options include the egg white omelets, the chicken and veggie salad, and the grilled tilapia. To top things off, turkey bacon and seasonal fresh fruit are joining the sides portion of the menu (via IHOP).

However, it is worth noting that these gluten-friendly options are still cooked on the same kitchen equipment as foods that do contain gluten. "Gluten-friendly" is not the same as "gluten-free," says Celiac and the Beast, so even these new menu items could potentially be dangerous for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. IHOP and other restaurants are taking a step in the right direction, but we still have quite a ways to go.