I explained to the manager that as someone who lives in the adjacent neighborhood, that it was important to me that places Black people patronize also hire Blacks.

The manager asked me how he was supposed to hire Black people if they don’t reply. To which I quipped, so are you saying you have a problem with Blacks not applying to work at IHOP?

The conversation ended with the manager telling me that yes, he thinks that is the problem and that if “they” meaning Blacks don’t apply, it’s because “they” don’t want to work.

I don’t buy the manager’s excuse that Black people don’t want to work. I think that Black people aren’t being hired at this IHOP location either they are being disqualified based on their background checks or more likely their inability to speak Spanish. I also observed that all of the servers and kitchen staff spoke Spanish on and off the floor to each other and other Spanish speaking patrons.