AUBURN, Maine — The International House of Pancakes in Auburn will temporarily shut down for employee training Thursday in the wake of a controversy over a server allegedly asking black teens to pay up front for their meal.

A server at the restaurant was accused earlier this week of asking a group of black teens to pay before eating.

The pancake chain responded to the controversy by saying it has “zero tolerance” for discrimination.

[Auburn IHOP manager reacts to Facebook post: ‘We’re not racist’]

Auburn Manager Melvin Escobar said he does not believe the server’s actions were racially motivated and added that the restaurant has recently had some problems with young patrons walking out without paying for their meals.

But he said the waitress’ actions were wrong, saying “this is the first time it happened and that will be the last time.”

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