November 28, 2006
IHOP Changes Policy of Asking for IDs
QUINCY, Mass. - John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped. "'You want my license? I'm going for pancakes, I'm not buying the Hope diamond,' and they refused to seat us," Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.
The restaurant now has agreed to reverse the policy of requiring customers to turn over their driver's licenses before they can order - a rule that was enacted to discourage "dine and dash" thefts.
WCVB-TV in Boston reported the Quincy restaurant's policy had been enacted without corporate approval.
IHOP Corp., based in Glendale, Calif., released a statement Monday night to WCVB that said an employee felt the policy could eliminate the problem of people leaving without paying.
"This was done without the knowledge or approval of management. ... We apologize to any guest who was inconvenienced," the statement said.
Russo said a security guard at the restaurant had "at least 40" licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.
"Identity theft is rampant. I wouldn't want to give my license, with my address or Social Security number to anyone that I'm not familiar with," Russo said. "I'm going just for breakfast."