$10.49. That’s the check at the Congress Heights IHOP every Saturday morning for a Viva La French Toast breakfast and bottomless cup of coffee. The French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, and coffee can be prepared in your own kitchen at ½ the cost and with ½ the calories. But for some reason, even in these uncertain financial times, making an economic contribution to IHOP is important. It’s not about the eggs, or bacon or even the coffee – it’s about the community. To be more specific, here are 5 reasons to support our neighborhood IHOP:
1.The Staff – you will not find a more professional group of employees anywhere in DC. It is obvious that the employees want to be there and that is evident by the stellar service they provide to patrons. There’s even a gentleman by the name of Gerard who assumes a quality assurance role. He does this by asking questions like, “How long have you been sitting here? Do you think you should be eating by now?”
2.The Atmosphere – The restaurant is immaculately clean, bright, and roomy. Everything from the old school R&B music to the DC-inspired artwork gives IHOP a feeling which is familiar and inviting.
3.Social Responsibility – The owners and managers of IHOP fully understand the challenges we face in River East. And they appear to be on board for improving the quality of life in the community by first purifying the atmosphere of their own establishment. Check out the River East Spotlight on the right. Potential customers know what time it is, in terms of etiquette, before they even reach the hostess!
4.Supporting Local Economies – IHOP provides jobs to approximately 80 River East residents! In addition, the restaurant will increase the tax base of the community and also plans to contribute to River East community organizations.
5.Risk takers – if for no other reason, we should support this fine enterprise because the developers and investors took a risk on unchartered territory. We all complained about the absence of sit-down restaurants, and now there is finally an establishment worthy of our business!
I know – I’m late on giving IHOP kudos. But having witnessed dozens of shoddy development projects in my own hometown, it’s natural to be skeptical of new enterprises in their early stages. Too often, miraculous development occurs only to be torn down as a result of internal mismanagement or vandalism by a single bad apple in the community. So far, there appears to be something different about the River East IHOP. Next time you visit, take a look around. You’ll see corporate Giant employees discussing supermarket business, a pair of police officers enjoying a burger and French-fries, a trio of college-aged friends dissecting Sunday’s Redskins game, or a birthday celebration in the backroom. This is a world of difference from the carryouts we’ve grown accustomed to. When you visit IHOP, one gets the feeling that people want this enterprise to be sustainable.
In the grand scheme of things, $10.49 is a relatively small price to pay for sustainable development in River East, and you’ll even get a meal out of it.