IHOP customers allegedly assault manager after being told orange juice refills aren't free

Customers at a North Carolina IHOP became angry after finding out their refills of orange juice were not free. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

A large group of patrons at a North Carolina IHOP became irate after learning their refills of orange juice were not free⁠ — and they took their anger out on a manager, an employee, and the restaurant's building itself.

According to WLOS, once the group of customers learned that their orange juice refills were not free, they asked to speak to a manager. When the manager arrived, the incident allegedly escalated into violence. Police received a report of an assault at the Tunnel Road IHOP in Asheville at around 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, according to the news outlet.

"They caused a scene, requested the manager," Asheville Police Department Spokesperson Christina Hallingse said, according to the Citizen Times. "They ended up flipping a table, caused damage to property and assaulted [an employee]."

An IHOP spokesperson informed the station that an employee was also assaulted, WLOS reports.

Hallingse is unaware of how many orange juice refills the party requested. According to the IHOP website, a 16 oz. orange juice costs $2.39, while a "Jr. Orange Juice" costs $1.79.

An employee was taken to the hospital, treated, and released. They suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“We never want to see anyone injured, especially over the bill at a restaurant,” Hallingse told WLOS. She adds that the restaurant provided the police with surveillance footage, which was handed to a detective in order to identify the suspects.

“IHOP franchisees work hard to create a safe, welcoming environment for their team members and our guests,” an IHOP spokesperson tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The type of unprovoked, violent behavior displayed by this group of guests has absolutely no place in any business and goes against everything we represent as a brand.”

“This incident is under further investigation,” Hallingse tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “No charges have been filed at this time.”

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