IHOP: 'Zero tolerance' for server's treatment of black teens

AUBURN, Maine — The IHOP (EYE'-hop) pancake restaurant chain has responded to a waitress asking some black teenagers to pay upfront for their meal at a franchise in Maine by saying it has "zero tolerance" for discrimination.

IHOP President Darren Rebelez on Tuesday called the episode at a restaurant in Auburn an "isolated incident" and reiterated the restaurant is reaching out to the teenagers to apologize. He says "appropriate disciplinary actions" will be taken.

The Auburn location will be closed Thursday for training.

Local manager Melvin Escobar says the restaurant had had problems with teenagers walking out without paying. But he says the waitress' actions were wrong. He says "this is the first time it happened, and that will be the last time."

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

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