“Can I see your proof of residency?”
That’s what Diana Carrillo, her sister Brenda, and two friends were asked during lunch last week at Saint Marc Pub-Café in Huntington Beach, Calif. At first, the four women thought it was a joke. According to Carillo, the waiter responded by saying, “I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you.” Carillo told Los Angeles Times that the waiter made no verbal or facial signs that he was joking and in that moment, she felt judged and shocked that he would ask them that question. Rather than make a fuss in the restaurant, Carrillo and her friends spoke to the manager and declined an offer to be seated in a new section and chose to leave.
Carrillo shared her experience on Facebook and more than 1,500 people have shared it.
A few friends and I went to Saint Marc’s in Huntington Beach today. My sister and my friend were seated first and the…
“A few friends and I went to Saint Marc’s in Huntington Beach today. My sister and my friend were seated first and the waiter asked them for their ‘proof of residency’ when they ordered a drink,” Diana wrote on Facebook. “My friend in disbelief repeated what he said and his response was ‘yeah, I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you.’ Not knowing that this happened to them, my friend and I were then seated and he returned to the table and asked us for our ‘proof of residency.’ After fully digesting what he said, we all got up and left to speak to the manager. For a few seconds I thought maybe he was being a smart ass or joking but the fact that he said ‘I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you’ was completely unacceptable. How many others has he said this too? I hope this employee is reprimanded for his actions. No establishment should tolerate discriminatory actions from their employees. PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!”
The group was offered a VIP experience and the restaurant offered to donate 10 percent of the weekend’s proceeds to a charity of their choice.
Carrillo and the rest of her party declined Saint Marc’s offer to return to the restaurant. Diana asked for Saint Marc to donate proceeds to the Orange County Immigrant Youth organization. According to The Washington Post, the waiter implicated in the situation has been fired from the restaurant.
“I don’t know if he had an agenda or not,” Kent Bearden, the senior director of operations at Saint Marc, told The Washington Post. “My concern is he violated a company policy. We’re very specific about how we treat our guests. That individual did not treat a table of guests to the expectations that we set forth in that company policy, and that caused him to be terminated.”