In the US, restaurants are considered a defining culture. There are wide varieties of restaurants to select from, and they receive many customers daily. Whether searching for a place for a midnight snack or want to treat your family to a meal without having to cook, restaurants are always a good option. It is easy to dine in your favorite restaurants without worrying about the payment, as most of them accept EBT. IHOP is one restaurant serving delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But does IHOP accept EBT? Let’s find out.
Does IHOP Accept EBT?
IHOP does not accept EBT, sadly. If you call the restaurant and ask them about accepting EBT, they will decline you. You cannot use EBT cards at IHOP as they do not qualify for the RMP. The EBT program has helped several people who need serious financial assistance. Anyone who signs up for a Californian EBT card can purchase food even if they have a low income. Also, the EBT benefits include food meant to be bought for cooking at home. However, many restaurants do accept EBT as, after all, food is a basic need.
Can You Use EBT at IHOP?
Sadly, IHOP does not take EBT as a form of payment. If you phone the restaurant and inquire about their policy regarding EBT, they will tell you that they do not take the card.
Why Doesn’t IHOP Accept EBT?
There is no apparent reason why IHOP does not accept this form of payment. Although it can be deduced that the SNAP benefit rules vary from state to state, you need to check your local restaurants and the state’s laws to verify if the EBT benefits are accepted in these restaurants. A lot of fast food chain restaurants do not accept SNAP or EBT, as the SNAP benefits do not consist of prepared or hot food items.
The SNAP benefits or EBT are provided to those in the US who cannot afford the daily necessities, not people who cannot afford to eat out. It mostly allows people to purchase nutritious foods for making throughout the month.
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How Does EBT Work?
First, it is important to know what EBT is. EBT or electronic benefit transfer is an electronic card system, like a debit card, which lets the recipients of specific government benefits spend and receive funds virtually. In simpler terms, it is the transaction method for the government for what is mainly known to be food stamps. But you have to be eligible to receive an EBT card.
The first thing you need to do is fill out an application for SNAP assistance. If they are eligible for the program, the state will provide them with a debit card for the EBT program. The individual’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit money is placed into the individual’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program account, which is connected to their EBT card, at the beginning of each month.
When a beneficiary is given an EBT card, they can use it to buy food at stores that take part in the (SNAP), much like they would use a debit card.
How to Qualify for EBT Card Under RMP?
RMP, also known as the Restaurant Meals Program, is operated in eight different states. Some of the cities in Michigan, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Maryland also provide this facility. But this program is most popular in California and Arizona. To receive an EBT card, you have to meet these criteria:
- The Net or household income must be lower than the poverty line.
- Individuals who are at least 60 years old or more than that.
- Individuals with any disability.
- Spouse of a person that belongs to any one of the above criteria.
- A homeless person.
How Do I Use My EBT Card to Buy Food From a Restaurant?
Take your items to the checkout lane, and depending on the store, separate the non-eligible items from the eligible ones.
- Swipe your EBT card through the Point-of-Scale, POS, or terminal or hand it over to the clerk.
- Enter the PIN code on the keypad.
- Then you have to press “yes” or “ok” if your purchasing amount is correct.
- The clerk will hand over a printed receipt of the store name, bill, and the updated food stamp benefit on your account.
It is advisable to store the receipt so that you know your new balance the next time you use it. You will not be asked to pay any fees while using the EBT card.
In Which Restaurants to Use EBT Card If Not at IHOP?
Accepting EBT varies depending on the SNAP regulations in each state. Before going to a restaurant and planning to pay through EBT, make sure that you check with your SNAP program rules to cover hot food items or not. In this section, we will list some restaurants that accept EBT and the ones that do not.
Restaurants that Accept EBT
There are more restaurants than the ones mentioned below that accept EBT transactions. You need to check with your state SNAP regulations and confirm which do and do not.
Subway is one of the most beloved sandwich chains that has gained a huge fan base internationally. You get a vast menu to choose from and also get to decide what goes into your sandwich. Their ingredients are always fresh, and many choose them over other restaurants because they use less processed food.
2. Burger King
Burger King is available in over 100 countries with more than 18,700 locations. This restaurant is most famous for its burgers, but they also have other items like fries, chicken nuggets, and more.
A fast-food chain restaurant that started in Kentucky in 1952 has gotten the love of many people through their food. KFC is mostly known for using a secret recipe for its fried chickens.
4. Taco Bell
A place that sells Mexican food now, even though they started their business with chili burgers. Taco Bell has a big fanbase of teenagers and college students who want good Mexican items like tacos, burritos, and nachos on a budget.
5. Domino’s Pizza
Pizza is something every person craves from time to time. According to some, Domino’s serves it the best. They have over 15,000 stores worldwide, and their campaigns are always enticing enough for everyone to be interested in their food.
Does IHOP Qualify for the RMP?
The following requirements need to be met for the restaurant for it to take part in the RMP:
- Be a citizen or permanent resident of a state that offers an RMP.
- Acquire the required approvals from the state and provide FNS a signed agreement along with them.
- Get your application for SNAP benefits authorized by FNS.
- IHOP doesn’t fulfill the requirements, so it doesn’t qualify for the RMP.
Food You Can Purchase with EBT and Ones You Cannot.
In most cases, EBT is used at grocery stores. This also depends on the state, bakery, farmers market, fast food, and more which are accepted by the EBT transactions. Food such as –
- Meat, fish, and poultry.
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Bread and cereals.
- Dairy products.
- Seeds and plants produce food for people to eat.
- Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
Products that are not considered responsible food items are banned from being purchased by EBT. Food items that do not qualify under EBT are –
- Pet food.
- Paper items.
- Household products.
These products cannot be purchased through EBT. Such is considered illegal to purchase with EBT, and doing so would result in severe consequences.
IHOP is mostly known for serving delicious American breakfast items while being healthy. However, in the question, does IHOP accept EBT, they do not. For which, the people who are in search of good breakfast or food, in general, without having to pay a hefty amount in trouble. IHOP should start accepting EBT transactions as it will benefit both the restaurant and the communities that depend on them.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ).
Using an EBT card at restaurants is simple; all you need to do is hand over the card to the cashier or swipe it through the POS terminal and enter the code.
Seven US states have RMP. Among them, California and Arizona use RMP widely, while Michigan, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Virginia offer this option only in certain cities.
Seniors must be registered in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and live in a state with an RMP to qualify. The individual must also meet one of the following:
• They are over 60 and disabled (and receive disability payments or disability retirement benefits from a government agency).
• They are classified as homeless because they do not have a regular place to sleep at night.
• They qualify for the Restaurant Meals Program because they are the spouse of a SNAP participant who qualifies.