On March 11 in Auburn, Maine, a teenager named Avery Gagne posted on Facebook that he saw a group of Black teenagers being told to prepay for their meal, writing, “We paid and sat there for a few minutes and I heard an employee tell the table that they were going to need to pay upfront and that it was ‘a new generation thing.’ I kept thinking to myself that I have been to many restaurants (sic) with my teenage friends and have never had to pay upfront? I called over to the group and asked them if they were seriously being asked to pay upfront and they said yes.” He continued, “So my father, mother and I stood up and began to question why this was happening. I myself was already quite worked up as I knew exactly why this was happening. 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. She then looked at my parents and I and said (sic) ‘it’s not because of their color.’” See the full post below:
The server was suspended for a week without pay after the manager confirmed she demanded a group of Black teens pay upfront. “And we’re trying to let everybody know that we’re not racist,” IHOP manager Melvin Escobar told the Bangor Daily News. “We treat everybody the same and basically we’re here to serve you and give you the best experience ever.”
Just like the Appplebee’s in Missouri, the IHOP in Auburn, Maine has temporary closed. According to Bangor Daily News, “The International House of Pancakes in Auburn will temporarily shut down for employee training Thursday in the wake of a controversy over a server allegedly asking black teens to pay up front for their meal.”
The Applebee’s in Missouri also “temporarily” closed, then shut down for good. We’ll see if this IHOP ever reopens. It doesn’t pay to be racist—and now, because of one server, several people have “temporarily” lost their jobs.