IHOP president apologizes for racial incident


AUBURN — IHOP’s local restaurant might close early Thursday to retrain staff in response to the allegation that a server asked black teenagers to pay upfront for their meals, manager Melvin Escobar said Tuesday.

He said the restaurant will most likely close at 2 p.m. Thursday for the training, which will involve the entire staff.

“We want to try to do the best for our customers,” he said. “We don’t want anything like this to happen again.” 

International House of Pancakes President Darren Rebelez said Tuesday, “IHOP and our franchisees have zero tolerance for actions that are or allude to discrimination of any type.”

He said the franchise is working to contact the affected customers directly to apologize, and is taking appropriate actions in line with its human resources policies.

“For 60 years, IHOP and our franchisees have strived to create a warm and hospitable dining experience for all guests,” Rebelez said, “and this isolated incident is not reflective of that ongoing commitment.”


Escobar said the restaurant has had problems with teens walking out without paying, but he said the server’s actions were inappropriate.

“This is the first time it happened,” he said, “and that will be the last time.”

The IHOP in Auburn. (Publicity photo)

  • CLibbey

    Here we go again with the racist accusation. Can we get over this incident and go on to something more crucial?

    • Real-LA-Guy

      Oh CL #STFU

  • Ben

    This has NOTHING to do with race and EVERYTHING to do with a re-occurrence of punks eating, and trying to duck out without paying. THESE punks just happened to be black. SO WHAT??? If they were white, this wouldn’t be a story!
    @SunJournal, Bangor Daily News, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and what ever other news outlets that post this story as racism; YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! STOP CREATING A RACIAL DIVIDE WHERE THERE ISN’T ONE!
    @IHOP president Darren Rebelez;
    Why would you apologize for protecting your own asset by asking what appears to be a group of people that continuously “eat and run” to pre-pay? SHAME ON YOU FOR APOLOGIZING IHOP! You are showing yourself as a company that enables race baiting to propagate. Stand up for yourself as a company and stop letting these accusers publicly run you over!

    • Real-LA-Guy

      Oh #STFU

      • Ben

        No. I won’t be silenced by you, or others who don’t look at the whole picture. Nice try buddy, but I will continue to stand for the truth, the whole truth and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH! So, if you have something intelligent to say, go ahead and say it. If you don’t, well maybe you need to take your own advice. Have a nice day!

        • Real-LA-Guy

          ha! ha! so funny