It's amazing how you tune into all kind of giving opportunities when you're actually looking for them. This one is from the fine people at IHOP - National Pancake Day. Next Tuesday, February 23, IHOPs across the country are offering a free short stack (3 pancakes) ... So what's the ulterior motive, you may be asking?
Well, you're right, there is an ulterior motive. They'd like you to consider donating to a local charity. What a deal!
In addition, of course, IHOP no doubt hopes that you'll order some coffee or other drinks, and maybe a side of bacon or sausage, but there's nothing wrong with that. Giving things away for free is actually, if done right, a phenomenal business model. The various ways that this model can be adapted are discussed at length in Chris Anderson's great book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Anyone who makes decisions about how a business runs, or is involved in any sort of marketing, should read this book.