IHOP Apologizes For Waitress Who Mocked Woman With Huntington’s

Earlier this week, we told you about the engaged couple who had gone to IHOP with the intention of enjoying a nice pancake dinner, only to end up with a waitress who treated them horribly, mocking the woman’s Huntington’s disease and referring to her to other employees as a “junkie.” The couple had received a half-hearted apology from the manager back in March, but none of the promised follow-up. Then the Internet got involved…

All of our e-mails to IHOP executives about this story bounced back as undeliverable so we took the story to Twitter yesterday, asking the restaurant chain for some help in getting a comment.

Oddly enough, the IHOP Twitter account never replied to our Tweet, but did reply to a bunch of our Twitter followers who demanded a response.

“What happened is just plain wrong. We are investigating this matter & will take corrective actions,” read the chain’s response to those who Tweeted about the Consumerist story.

And it looks like the IHOP people weren’t just blowing smoke up the Internet’s derriere, as the man who originally wrote us about the incident wrote in with a nice little update.

“At 5 p.m. today, the franchise owner of that particular IHOP contacted us,” writes Dan.

And since we never gave IHOP Dan or his fiancee’s contact information, this means that the couple’s original complaint was easy to find in the IHOP inbox and the company knew it had never done a proper follow-up on the matter, instead leaving it to a franchise manager.

“He was incredibly apologetic, and completely disgusted,” says Dan about the franchisee, who spoke to Dan’s fiancee for about 45 minutes. “He seemed sincere, and very emotional about it, promising that he’d stepped in.

“He told us that IHOP did not contact him until today, when he received a few pretty frantic calls, and he and his wife wanted to reach out,” writes Dan.

Regarding the “night manager” who wouldn’t get involved during the original incident, the owner clarified that this person wasn’t even a proper supervisor.

“We didn’t want to cost anyone their job,” Dan explains, “but he impressed on us the sensitivity training they were given that they obviously need to retake.”

He says the owner was going to overnight them a bunch of IHOP gift cards, though Dan isn’t sure if he and his fiancee are going to use them.

Dan says he’s okay with the owner’s apology and attempt to reach out but is still mad that he and his fiancee never heard back from anyone at IHOP HQ.

“Considering it was THEM we reported this too, and THEM who are supposed to handle these things, we’re still pretty upset that they didn’t handle anything or reach out,” he explains. “Not even a, ‘Hey, sorry we messed up.” After all, really, when it left the restaurant, it became their problem.”

“Also, my fiancee and I wanted to thank everyone for their support,” adds Dan. “Especially the ones who took the time to e-mail IHOP or post on their Facebook, no matter how briefly the posts stayed up. It’s nice to know that at least someone has our backs.”