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IHOP Should Refuse Service

Posted Tue January 2, 2007 12:00 pm, by Heather R. written to IHOP

Write a Letter to this Company

Was seated directly across from a male who was very obviously high on drugs and very drunk. My meal was completely ruined due to his constant yelling and curse words, requeting money to buy his meal from every other customer, and the manager and staff's lake of good or even decent customer service. What happened to "The right to refuse service."

Pay attention to who they seat and serve. I will NEVER return to that location and probably will not be inclined to return to IHOP ever again, which saddens me cause IHOP was one of my favorites. I would like my meal of $21, not including tip refunded for the companies total ignorance and horrible customer service.


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by nick l Posted Sun January 7, 2007 @ 12:26 AM

What did the manager say when you brought this to his/her attention?

You did let the manager know about this, right?

You didn't?

It doesn't really work to keep your negative experience a secret from
the manager, and then fire off an angry letter on a Web site. The
manager's job is to take care of patron's complaints and concerns.
IHOP probably is never going to see this letter, let alone act on it.


IHOP by Heather Radmanich Fri January 19, 2007 @ 5:28 PM
by Bollywoodturtle Posted Sun January 7, 2007 @ 12:11 AM

Yeah, IHOP is a drunk's paradise. I probably should have been thrown
out of the place a few times myself.


by Gino Version 1.2 Posted Sat January 6, 2007 @ 10:48 PM

It's a tough call. I can understand the "right to refuse service" (No
Shoes No Shirt No Dice type of thing). But with the cutbacks in
services for the homeless and mentally ill and other people, plus the
spate of lawsuits this fine company has had in the past over racism
BECAUSE they refused service, I don't think it's the waitstaff's place
to make those calls.
What if this person had tourettes syndrone and diabetes? The symptoms
of low blood sugar and tourettes combined could appear as "obviously"
drunk person who could pass a breathalyzer test. Another Lawsuit,
another costly PR campaign...
Anyway just another possible scenario. You could have asked to be
seated elsewhere, or talk to management as others said...


by Beeracuda Posted Sat January 6, 2007 @ 10:05 AM

If it was my restaurant, anyone who behaves in that way would get

That being said, why should IHOP refund money for a meal that you ate,
to a person that has already declared that they will never return to

Perhaps you should rewrite this letter and drop any threats of never


by MA Loper Posted Fri January 5, 2007 @ 11:35 PM

why every time people encounter other patrons at a store a restaurant
that they don't care for, somehow they honestly believe that the
store/restaurant somehow has an obligation to play bouncer.

As others pointed out, if you are offended by another patron, there
isn't much you can do but leave. How would you feel if someone had
some beef with you and insisted YOU get kicked out? Somehow I think
you'd be a little ticked.

I'm just saying, everyone is different and you can't expect to never
have any contact with people who are different from you unless you
stay locked up in your house 24/7.


If the guy was as bad as the OP said... by Tina N Sat January 6, 2007 @ 10:11 AM

by Sarah H Posted Fri January 5, 2007 @ 5:49 PM

Didn't you just write this letter the other day and put a different
title on it?


Admin changes the title by CrusadingStarlight22203 Fri January 5, 2007 @ 6:52 PM

by ALP Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 10:49 PM

You should act on your right to refuse to eat at IHOP. If you are too
divine for all of this, get up and leave before you order your meal,
before your meal arrives, and/or before eating your meal.

Their customer service was not horrible; no one asked them to remove
this customer or complained. If this was truly such a big deal, you
would have said something.

You clearly were not bothered enough and was capable of eating your
twenty-one dollar meal. You should voice these complaints at the
appropriate time, when there is time to correct them.


by Prefect Zachary Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 8:51 PM

You did not have to tip them and you ate the food so they may not give
it back. I bet you made a big issue of what never really happened
just to get a free meal.

by MommyG4 Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 8:07 PM

and if it made you uncomfortable, imagine how the employees felt.
They may have all been wondering what in the world they should do.


by Nayda Badillo Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 10:17 AM

I would totally agree with you, but for the fact, that you do not
mention speaking to the manager. Had you done so and no action was
taken THEN I would give you my full support.

I don't think this ONE issue will ever repeat itself, in your
lifetime, so to not return is kind of harsh. But, again, YOU did
nothing but sit back and "take" the misconduct. Next time SPEAK UP!


by friendofjimmyk Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 9:29 AM

I agree that you were in an uncomfortable situation that was probably
unpleasant for you. However, not as unpleasant as I was when reading
this letter. Spellcheck works wonders - it can also help with grammar.

I agree with most posters when they ask, did you discuss this with a
manager at the time of the offense? I don't understand people who will
sit there totally uncomfortable and not enjoying themselves - doesn't
that make digestion a bit harder?

It helps if you nip the problem in the bud and allow them to do
something about the situation in real time, rather than having to
guess what store you ate at, the manager on duty at the time, the
servers involved...yada yada yada. If you address it in the here and
now, you may have been able to enjoy your meal.

by Homebound Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 8:21 AM

I agree those loud people are annoying, but honestly, what are the
odds it would happen again (Given you didn't go at bar rush time) ?


by Sarah H Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 5:33 PM

Did you ask for a manager and tell them that the customer was being
disruptive? If he really was disruptive, management should have
escorted him out of the building or called the police if he refused to
leave. You really can't request a refund for your meal at this point
though, you should have done that while you were at the restaurant, or
left before you ordered if the other customer was disturbing.


by >Leanne< Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 3:34 PM

Imagine the fun you could have had if you called the police to have
him 'frisked'? Better yet, since they truly don't care about unruly
customers a few spitballs couldn't have hurt either.


LMAO by CrusadingStarlight22203 Wed January 3, 2007 @ 4:20 PM

by Vidray2K7 Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:10 PM

Wow, that sounds like the worst blind date ever.


LOL! by tickytack Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:16 PM

by Juicy Jade Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:09 PM

IHOP seems to be the hangout of choice for the drunk people in my
area. I guess the employees are used to seeing those kinds of
behaviors and it does not bother them. I am not saying public
intoxication is okay by any means. Don't get me wrong.

I had an incident a few months ago where my family and I went to a
IHOP in Houston. While we were waiting for our food, a homeless lady
(very obviously either high, drunk, or mentally ill) parked her
shopping cart in front of the building and entered the establishment.
Once inside, she walked over to the only other family in the
restaurant and very loudly announced how hungry she was. They gave her
about seven dollars to pay for something to eat. She took a booth
beside them and began yelling her order across the restaurant. When
the food did not instantly appear in front of her, she began yelling
and cursing everyone around.

Even worse, once the other family slipped out of the door, she moved
over by us. When the waitress appeared with part of her order to keep
her quiet while the rest was cooking, she began ordering even more
food. The waitress explained that she did not have enough money for
everything. The crazy woman began threatening and cursing the
waitress. My husband gave the waitress five more dollars to help
diffuse the situation and the woman jumped up and snatched the money
out of the poor server's hand. It was NASTY watching this woman eat
the food she already had.

They ended up giving in to the woman, but I think it was to keep
everything peaceful. Sometimes, it is just better that way. I know if
I was a manager, I would rather "eat" the cost of a few pieces of
toast and a glass of milk while waiting for the police to arrive than
to risk one of my staff members getting hurt.

As we were leaving, the manager met us at the front door and
apologized profusely for the woman's actions. He did assure us that
the police had been called. Maybe they had called the police from a
back room or something in your case and you just did know it. If not,
you could have done so from your car or another location. I don't
think it would be too wise to call the police in front of the

I know it is not the same thing that happened to you, but my problem
was not with the manager, nor IHOP. My problem was with that
individual and I was tempted to push her shopping cart into the middle
of I-10. My children (ages 3 & 4 at the time) were even asking what
was wrong with that woman.

I still got my stuffed french toast and it was great, like always. We
did not deserve to get our meal comped. I still got to eat my food, it
was a very interesting meal and I went home and wrote about it in my

IHOP is one of my favorites as well and have been back to that
location since. Don't let that experience ruin it for you.


LOL, which IHOP? by Rapunzel676 Wed January 3, 2007 @ 2:56 PM

I-10 & Ulvade, n/t by Juicy Jade Wed January 3, 2007 @ 5:34 PM

by CrazyRedHead Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 11:15 AM

Since you ate your food, you don't deserve a refund.

You could have requested a different seat in a different part of the
restaurant, the smoking section would have been preferable to that

What happened when you spoke to the manager? I'm sure he would have
been accommodating to you if you would have used your mouth. Also,
if he would have gotten enough complaints, he might have done

I understand your frustrations, cell phones ringing while I'm eating
annoys the heck out of me, but you have to speak up, if he would have
gotten enough complaints, he would have been able to do more.

Keep that in mind the next time you go, and don't hold the entire
chain accountable for one lousy visit, especially if all of your other
visits were good.


Re: ACT ON YOUR RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE by Humorous Erik Wed January 3, 2007 @ 9:22 AM

What's the point of this? by Not Erik Wed January 3, 2007 @ 10:15 AM

Shut your dirty sock mouth. by Humorous Erik Wed January 3, 2007 @ 10:16 AM

No, please! Anything but that! by Not Erik Wed January 3, 2007 @ 10:17 AM
by Homebound Posted Thu January 4, 2007 @ 8:24 AM

Erik is funny... so funny that he has ruined more than his fair share
of keyboards


Really? by friendofjimmyk Thu January 4, 2007 @ 9:23 AM

by tickytack Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 8:06 AM

You had two choices - no, wait. Three.

a) Call the police

b) Speak to the manager

c) Walk out.

However, unpleasant though the situation apparently was, you chose to
stay. Therefore, I see absolutely no reason you should get a refund.

Yes, there is a right to refuse service. There is also something
called personal responsibility.

And banning an entire chain because of one rude person? Sorry, that
is just silly.


And.. by Harleycat Wed January 3, 2007 @ 8:47 AM

Good point by tickytack Wed January 3, 2007 @ 9:09 AM

Also by Rapunzel676 Thu January 4, 2007 @ 10:32 PM

by Harleycat Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 8:05 AM

Ugh..another person who has enjoyed a restaurant for years but now,
because of one bad experience, will write off the entire chain
forever. You should read the letter written about the Lone Star
Steakhouse and see how problems at a restaurant should be handled.

What did the manager say when you bought this situation to their
attention? You did ask for a manager, didn't you?

Your letter lacks any details such as date, time and location of this
IHOP so how do you expect IHOP corporate to even look into this
complaint? That being said, the time to ask for a refund was right
then and there.


Wanted to add by Harleycat Wed January 3, 2007 @ 12:55 PM

by Courtney C Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 3:44 AM

Ugh, that would make me SO uncomfortable! I'm not sure I believe you
deserve your meal refunded, but I definately think the resturant
dropped the ball here. I've been in that position multiple times (I
didnt live in the best area) and I actually agree with Rapunzal that
I'd have called the cops myself. Let's just hope this was a one time
thing for you to have to encounter. As you said yourself, it's a RIGHT
to refuse service. Not an obligation to refuse. What you and I see as
unacceptable, that particular staff may not have....

And while I can see why you might be hesitant to visit that LOCATION
again for that reason, I fail to see why you would refuse to visit ALL
Ihops ever again. Surely different ones will have different customers.
Don't write off a resturant you enjoy because of one bad experiance!
You may be left with nowhere to eat.


by Adam W Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:51 AM

I agree with you but I don't think you are right in asking for you're
money back here. If you had spoekn to the manager he probably would
have just given it to you. Restaurants always seem to be very happy
to give you a free meal when the service is bad. I have had a few and
have seen it done many times. You should have voiced your concerns to
the manager cnd he may have done something.


Adam... by Wolf Wed January 3, 2007 @ 10:04 AM

Wolf... by SZ Wed January 3, 2007 @ 2:26 PM

Sorry... by Wolf Wed January 3, 2007 @ 3:10 PM
by CrusadingStarlight22203 Posted Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:29 AM

You know, I agree with your complaint except you don't mention
speaking to the manager and had the option of walking out.

It is an establishment's duty to protect their customers. If this man
was obviously intoxicated it was their responsibility to ask him to
leave or even to call the cops. Last time I checked, public intox is
illegal. As a customer it also YOUR responsibility to ensure your own
safety. You could have brought this to the attention of the manager
or called the cops yourself. You seemed to have done neither. I
don't feel as if you are owed your money back. At any point you could
have gotten up and walked out. This would have solved your problem.
However, I do hope that you hear back from IHop. If you love IHop so
much... I would suggest you go during the day. I'm assuming that you
went late at night when the intoxicated fill their tummies to soak up
all that alcohol! Not that I would know anything about that...
::whistles innocently::


I agree by Rapunzel676 Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:45 AM

There is NO way I would have paid that bill by CrusadingStarlight22203 Wed January 3, 2007 @ 6:35 AM

I agree, too. by Tina N Wed January 3, 2007 @ 7:29 AM

True, but by tickytack Wed January 3, 2007 @ 10:56 AM

Do you mean me? by Rapunzel676 Wed January 3, 2007 @ 2:38 PM

Noooo - the OP by tickytack Wed January 3, 2007 @ 3:36 PM

Ah, okay by Rapunzel676 Thu January 4, 2007 @ 10:25 PM

by Tina N Posted Tue January 2, 2007 @ 11:10 PM

Why didn't you ask for a manager? You sat and LET this guy ruin your
meal, and said nothing about it to anyone?
You have a responsibility as well. If YOU allow this behaviour to go
unchecked without commenting at all, you deserve nothing.


by RedheadWGlasses Posted Tue January 2, 2007 @ 9:45 PM

You don't deserve your money back if you weren't willing to ask a
manager (or waitress) to either shut the man up or kick him out.

If his behavior really was that bad, shame on the waitstaff and
management for not doing anything.

Unless... that WAS the manager!


by Firebrat Tracy Posted Tue January 2, 2007 @ 8:13 PM


I agree with SB and Quasi. Why would you not address this with a
manager, and immediately???

If this man was truly behaving as horribly as you clain, I don't blame
you for being upset. However, I think it's a little silly to sit
quietly and eat your meal, and then pay and leave..only to go back to
your computer at home and demand a refund???? I mean, if you felt like
you couldn't speak up at the restaurant, at LEAST call the manager
when you got home and give him/her the chance to make things right
BEFORE you drag Corporate into the fray.


by Quasi_Mondo Posted Tue January 2, 2007 @ 6:02 PM

"I will NEVER return to that location and probably will not be
inclined to return to IHOP ever again, which saddens me cause IHOP was
one of my favorites."

Yet another person who enjoys a restaurant for years and after one
disagreeable visit, they write it off completely.

I'm wondering exactly what kept you from addressing the issue in the
And, most bewildering of all, you talk about "the companies total
ignorance and horrible customer service", yet you left a tip.

At least you didn't say "The customer is always right!" because THEN
we'd have a conundrum!


I'm with you except on the tip. by calm Wed January 3, 2007 @ 11:56 AM

Yeah... by Quasi_Mondo Wed January 3, 2007 @ 1:47 PM

by S. Brown Posted Tue January 2, 2007 @ 5:26 PM

Geez - - here we go again - - what did the manager say to you when you
brought this situation to his or her attention and requested to not
pay your $21.00 bill?


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