Date: March 13th, 2018 5:25 PM
Author: Non sequitur
IHOP Manager Apologizes After Black Teens Asked To Pay Before Dining
BY SHREESHA GHOSH @SHREESHA_94 ON 03/13/18 AT 9:28 AM
The manager of an IHOP restaurant in Auburn, Maine, issued a public apology to his restaurant’s patrons after one of its workers asked a group of black teenagers Sunday to pay for their meals upfront, reports said Monday.
Manager Melvin Escobar stated Monday he spoke with the server and assured such an incident will never happen again at his restaurant.
“This is the first time it happened, and that will be the last time,” Escobar said.
Escobar added he believed the server’s actions were not racially motivated, but she was worried the young teenage customers would not likely pay the $100 bill. He said the IHOP in Maine has had problems recently with customers — mostly teenagers — walking out after their meals without paying.
“We don’t discriminate (against) people for what they are or who they are,” he said.
Following the incident, Escobar issued a public apology Monday afternoon on his restaurant’s Facebook page.
“A meeting has taken place with all of our staff members. Everyone has been made aware of these inexcusable actions and reminded how we handle matters correctly in the future,” the post read. “We have rectified the situation and can guarantee this is not what we condone to go on within our restaurant. Please spare our credibility, as this situation is not a reflection of the service we strive to deliver.”
Escobar assured his patrons the restaurant does not discriminate based on race.
“I’m personally, for me, kind of offended because I’m a Spanish person,” Escobar said. “I’m the type of person to say: ‘Here we help different kinds. Everybody I believe is American. Everybody is the same.’ We’re not racist.”
He also added his restaurant does not discriminate based on age, and the teenagers were wrongfully charged before eating. He claimed such upfront payment goes against the restaurant policy, and was not approved by management on Sunday.
“The policy is: You come in, enjoy and we charge you at the end, like a normal restaurant. … She took her own action,” Escobar said.
An IHOP restaurant serves customers in Chicago, Illinois, Aug. 10, 2017. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
The incident caught the manager's attention and other people after a man from Monmouth posted about it on Facebook on Sunday. The man identified as Avery Gagne wrote on social media he was dining at the restaurant with his parents when he reportedly heard the server ask the black teens to pay their bill before they had finished their meal, saying it was "a new generation thing."
Gagne added the teens did not appear to be upset, but he and his parents were and thus he posted about it.
"The woman who requested they pay upfront came over and began to tell us how it was what management has asked her to do as they have had walk outs, etc.," he wrote. "She then looked at my parents and I and said 'it’s not because of their color.'"
"Now what I didn’t tell you at the beginning of this post was that these were four African-American teens who I believe were Somali as the girl was wearing a hijab. The reason why I didn’t mention that is because it does not matter. The woman took it upon herself to make this group of teens pay for their meal upfront because she considered them 'high risk,'" he added in the post.
Gagne's post garnered thousands of views and was immediately shared by people and soon reached Escobar, who was not present at his restaurant when the incident took place.