A waiter at a Southern California restaurant was fired after patrons say they were asked to show "proof of residency" before being served.
Diana Carrillo, 23, said she had often gone to Saint Marc, a pub-café in the Paradise Shopping Center on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach.
On March 11, Carrillo went to the upscale eatery with her sister and two other friends and asked to order some drinks. According to Carrillo, the waiter allegedly asked them to show proof of residency.
When they asked him to explain what he meant, the waiter replied that he needed to make sure they were legally allowed to be there, Carrillo said.
She said the group complained to the manager — who called the waiter "one of their best" — and was offered to be seated in another section.
They declined and left.
"At this point, it's more about bringing light to the issue. I feel like this is something we're leaning toward, that every time you go to a restaurant they're going to ask for your proof of residency or just because you speak Spanish, or anyone else if they're speaking a different language, they think it's okay to ask for proof of residency. And that's not okay," the Irvine resident said.
The restaurant announced Tuesday afternoon that they fired the employees involved.
After Carrillo detailed her experience in a Yelp review post, the restaurant took to Facebook to respond:
"We are deeply saddened by this guest's experience and have made the decision to terminate the employees in question. This type of behavior is not representative of the Saint Marc brand and it will not be tolerated. We have established our restaurant in a wonderfully diverse community and intend to uphold our standards of universal acceptance."
A restaurant spokesperson said they'd like for Carrillo and her friends to return and have a face-to-face conversation about the incident.
She said she'd only be willing to do that if Saint Marc is willing to turn that into a larger community conversation.