Diana Carrillo, her sister and two friends were so shocked about what had just transpired that it didn’t hit them until moments later.
While preparing to enjoy a quality meal at Saint Marc in Huntington Beach, California, the four Latina women were approached by a waiter who insisted that he couldn’t serve them until they showed proof of residency.
“I need to make sure you’re from here,” Carrillo told The New York Times.
After realizing what had just happened, the women approached a manager who offered to sit them in a different section and a promise to make things right. Instead, the women left and Carrillo shared her experience on Facebook.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
After the post went viral – it currently has nearly 1,000 comments and has been shared more than 1,700 times – the restaurant reached out to Carrillo again with an offer of a special VIP dinner and donating 10 percent of the weekend’s proceeds to a charity of the group’s choice. They turned down the VIP treatment but asked the restaurant to donate to Orange County Youth United.
Since the day of the incident, the waiter who disrespected the group has been fired and Saint Marc has released a statement on his termination.
“I don’t know if he had an agenda or not,” Kent Bearden, the senior director of operations at Saint Marc, said. “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.”