HOP Waitress Tells Group of Black Teenagers to Pay First Before Eating

Auburn, ME — A waitress at an IHOP restaurant in Auburn, Maine reportedly asked a group of black teenagers to pay upfront for their meal. The manager of the restaurant had to apologize and issue a statement saying that it was not racially motivated and that they respect all their customers.

IHOP Restaurant

In a Facebook post by Avery Gagne, a young man from Monmouth, he narrates what happened. Within just a few hours, the post went viral after being shared more than 1,800 times.

The branch manager, Melvin Escobar, immediately told the Sun Journal that, “This is the first time it happened, and that will be the last time.”

Escobar believes that what the waitress did was not exactly racially motivated and she might have done that in a worry that the teens might duck out on their $100 bill. He explained that they have had some encounters with teens walking out without paying recently.

The waitress was suspended for one week without pay. Escobar also added, “We’re trying to let everybody know that we’re not racist. We treat everybody the same and basically we’re here to serve you and give you the best experience ever.”

But Gagne was not convinced with Escobar’s statements. Gagne said that when the waitress explained to him and his parents what’s going on, she said that it’s what’s the management told her to do.

IHOP President Darren Rebelez said that “IHOP and our franchisees have zero tolerance for actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type.” He also noted that happened in Auburn is an “isolated incident” and they are reaching out to the teenagers to apologize. He also said that “appropriate disciplinary actions” will be taken.