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AUBURN, Maine (AP) — A server at a Maine IHOP restaurant asked a group of black teenagers to pay upfront for their meal, prompting the manager to issue a public apology.

Manager Melvin Escobar told the Sun Journal newspaper that “this is the first time it happened, and that will be the last time.”

What happened on Sunday at the Auburn IHOP came to the attention of Escobar after a young man from Monmouth posted about it on Facebook.

Escobar said he believed the server’s actions were not racially motivated but she was worried the kids would duck out on the $100 bill. The restaurant recently had some problems with teenagers walking out without paying, he said.

“IHOP and our franchisees strive to create a warm and hospitable dining experience for all guests, and this isolated incident is not reflective of that commitment nor tolerated,” the company said in a statement Monday night.

“The franchisee of this location is in the process of reaching out directly to the affected guests to apologize for an individual team member’s misguided actions as well as using this as an opportunity to underscore the values we uphold as a brand with his entire team.”

IHOP restaurants are franchised and run by International House of Pancakes LLC, a subsidiary of DineEquity Inc.

PHOTO: IHOP

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24 thoughts on “IHOP Server Tells Black Patrons To Pay Before Eating

  1. Perry on said:

    i am sure that stepping out on the bill happens at restaurants a lot and I am also sure that it is probably not always teenagers doing it. However, making a certain group of people pay in advance is not the remedy. That is discrimination and it results in lawsuits and apologies. If you require upfront payment, it should be for all of your customers.

  2. October on said:

    I’ve heard the same thing, blacks do not tip or they tip poorly. I try to tip according to the service I receive but I do leave a tip.

  3. Mac Daddy on said:

    SD no need for your vulgar responses. What the contributor is trying to say, is that most black, NOT ALL, don’t tip well. From spending time in the business I can attest to that being true, as will most others. Blacks also don’t donate, that is why most HBCU’S are failing, and as a group, blacks are pereinnally late. Ever heard of BPT (Black People Time)? Of course you have. These are all true, not for all blacks, but most.

    • However, he did say, “We all know black people don’t tip.” Where is the separation of all Blacks from some? Stay in your lane.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Nope! Never heard of BPT, is your dumb ass referring to CP time? That lets me know for sure you’re a “poser” a fake ass wanna be. Take your simple-minded, inbred, trailer park trash a$$ back to your mobile home park. I’ve seen poor white trash such as yourself standing on street corners and traffic light stops and in front of 7/11s begging for loose change. That doesn’t mean ALL white people do that. You’re such an ignoramus.

      • Mac Daddy on said:

        I see your resolution to be a better person was short lived. Oh well, can’t change a leopards spots

      • specialt757 on said:

        Well what can I say, you two white waste of space, time and atoms bring out the worst in me?

  4. Ted Gravely on said:

    Some business owners are stupid. If you have dine and dash patrons then make all patrons suffer. I’m sorry, but IHOP is only one step above Fast Food. Run a register as guests enter, let them order, pay, sit down at their table with a number, and waiters bring out their meal. You’re not running out of a Fast Food restaurant, because you pay upfront. Heck you can’t even get your drink at some Fast Food joints without paying first. Nope. Money and then your items. I think IHOPs, and other restaurants (Pizza Hut) where teens are likely to gather and create mischief have a right to collect their money upfront. However, it can’t be based on demographic. This shouldn’t be race based – it should be business based. Simple. Collect all dollars from everyone upfront.

  5. mrknowitall, you don’t know sh##. Here’s a tip for you….go somewhere and sit your dumb a@@ down. I tip every time. Whether a person is Black or not does not determine if they are going to leave a tip. I have seen people of different ethnicities not tip. Crawl back to your trailer and continue to mingle with your incest-bred relatives.

  6. Mrknowitall on said:

    This article left out alot of information. Did the black chillens have the money to pay? We all know black people don’t tip. What race is the dine & aholes?

  7. I’ve experienced seeing teenagers eating and upon completion gradually leaving the restaurant some pretending to goto the bathroom and walking straight out the door. It happens and happens a lot in restaurant. I’ve also seen whereas a couple or someone would complained about their food the entire night pretty much to get a free meal and the manager would come to the table to see what the problem is thereby granting the patrons a free meal. There’s all kind of tricks and schemes from the patrons especially college kids.

    • Chris on said:

      You got that right, heck they would already be out of business if they had to count on my money. I probably have only eaten at one of those lousy restaurants about three time in my entire adult life. Haven’t eaten at one in more than 10 years. Good riddance to IHOP or at least this one in Maine.

    • specialt757 on said:

      SonniQ, get down out of my head lol. I was thinking the exact same thing. Not only that, usually when a group of people not related to one another “friends” and go out to eat, they usually pay for themselves, individually unless someone is “spotin’ the other. But $100 at IHOP that’s a stretch.

  8. African American Woman on said:

    I’m so happy this article wasn’t totally biased and slanted and the part about the patrons being a group of teenagers and that they’ve had issues with other groups of teens skip out on the bill. I know they have no legal standing to charge them upfront, but I can understand the premise. Again, someone woke the VERY tired race card up for nothing!

    • How can the race card be awaken for nothing when everyday Black Folks are being victimized by this unequal system. I bet the server was even more anxious to ask the Black teens to pay in advance than if they were white. You’re not an African American Woman and you don’t think like one. Being Biased and Slanted is all that white folks have EVER shown us.

      • African American Woman on said:

        You can always spot a sheep by their desperate attempt to victimize themselves and every other black person in existence. It doesn’t matter if a situation had nothing to do with race, they will make sure it does. News flash!!!!!! All black people do not subscribe to groupthink…many of us are intelligent, independent thinkers (unlike the mono-thinking sheep)…I know its so hard for you to believe that every black person in the world doesn’t share your “poor, victim me” attitude…well, we exist and guess what???? Hold on to your cotton….we’re black!!!

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