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Waiter fired after asking customers for ‘proof of residency’


By Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A woman took to social media March 11 after she said her sister and friend were questioned about their residency by a waiter at a restaurant in California.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Brenda Carrillo and a friend were dining at Saint Marc Pub-Cafe, Bakery & Cheese Affinage in Huntington Beach. They were waiting for Carrillo’s sisrter, Diana Carillo, and another friend to show up when the waiter asked them, “Can I see your proof of residency?”

“It was kind of hard to process because we’ve never experienced this,” Brenda Carrillo, 23, who described herself and her sister as “light-skinned Latinas” told The Times.

“I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you,” the waiter said, according to Brenda Carrillo.

The Orange County Register reported that when the others arrived, Brenda Carrillo told them what happened.

Diana Carrillo, 24, said in a Facebook post after the incident that the waiter returned and asked her and the other friend the same question.

“There was no indication that he was trying to make a joke or even possibly flirt with us,” Diana Carrillo said.

The Times reported that the group spoke with the manager, who apologized and offered to reseat them, but they left the restaurant.

The Times reported that hours after leaving, Diana Carrillo posted about the incident on Yelp, in addition to Facebook. The restaurant responded to the incident with statements on Facebook and Instragram, The Times said, but they were deleted.

Kent Bearden, senior director of operations for Saint Marc, told The Times the waiter, who has not been identified, was not a new hire and has not caused problems before.

Bearden said the apology statements from the restaurant were deleted because “the circumstances have moved on.”

The restaurant issued a statement March 14 about the incident, saying “This type of behavior is not representative of the St. Marc brand and will not be tolerated.”

The Register reported that restaurant reached out to Diana Carrillo and offered to donate 10 percent of the weekend’s sales to a charity of her choice and the opportunity to be VIP guests.

Diana Carrillo said she declined the VIP offer but asked that the sales be sent to Orange County Immigrant Youth United. According to The Times, Bearden said the request would be honored. Saint Marc posted a statement about the donation on  Facebook Monday.

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