If it’s one of the single-digit hours of the morning, you’re pleasantly blazed and you’re craving a half-dozen plates of gluten and high-fructose corn syrup, where else would you go but IHOP? The kind of restaurant that will layer chocolate mousse on top of chocolate chip pancakes—and may or may not let you squeeze the mousse directly into your hands—is exactly where you want to be when you’re high AF. But before you can ask why they stopped serving Cinn-A-Stacks, you’ll have to be allowed in the door.
Earlier this week, a photo of an unidentified IHOP made its way around Twitter, Reddit, and every meme account on Instagram, and it was the scariest thing pot smokers have seen lately, other than weed-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ open mouth. “IHOP WILL NOT SERVE/SEAT GUEST WITH STRONG MARIJUANA ODOR,” it said, in one aggressive all-caps sentence. “THANK YOU, MANAGMENT [sic]”
Stoners everywhere were shook. “IHOP proceeds to lose 90% of its customers,” the 5th Year account wrote on Instagram. Other online commenters debated the legality of the sign, questioned what the definition of a “strong” marijuana odor was, or complained that weed smokers were way less disruptive than drunk customers. (No argument from us). “I WILL SERVE SEAT/MYSELF,” one Redditor wrote, which seemed like the best possible compromise.
But we have some good news! When MUNCHIES contacted IHOP, a spokesperson told us that the sign was a year old, and that discriminating against pot smokers was not company policy. (That’s right. Don’t bite the marijuana-scented hand that’s covered in your own chocolate mousse). “This sign was posted more than a year ago and was immediately removed after being spotted,” IHOP spokesperson Stephanie Peterson said. “Someone at the restaurant must have been pancaking that day when they posted it because the brand and our franchisees are all about welcoming guests in without judgement.”
Peterson said that whoever posted the sign probably had “good intentions” and might have been responding to complaints from previous guests. Regardless, this means you and your strong marijuana odor can get a table for two later tonight!
What’s weird is that the IHOP franchisee seemed to have copied the exact wording of a TGI Fridays sign that was posted in December 2016—although Fridays spelled the word “management” correctly. That sign was also swiftly removed, after an investigation from Fridays’ corporate office.
Two years ago, the owner of a Japanese steakhouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, posted a similar sign on his own door after asking weed-scented customers to leave the premises. “ "I know in some states marijuana is legal, but you are sitting with other parties at our restaurant and I don't think it's respectful,” he told MUNCHIES at the time.
Anyways, now that that's been cleared up, see y’all at IHOP later.