On March 11, four Latina women dining out at a Southern California restaurant were asked by their waiter for IDs so he check to see if they were US citizens, according to a story published by the Washington Post on Sunday.
“I need to make sure you’re from here,” the waiter told the women who, not knowing what else to do, handed over their IDs. Shortly after, the women told the manager what had happened. He gave them his business card and offered to seat them in a different waiter’s section, but they decided to leave anyway.
One of the women, 24-year-old Diana Carrillo wrote about the incident a few hours later in a Facebook post, in which she also tagged the offending restaurant as “Saint Marc Pub-Cafe, Bakery & Cheese Affinage” in Huntington Beach, California. The post read in part:
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!
One week later, the post had been shared 600 times and will doubtless circulate far more widely in the coming days.
According to the OC Weekly, Saint Marc is located in a brand new upscale retail and dining plaza called Pacific City and offers customers the option of ordering off an iPad, which in this one case would have been a step up from the flesh and blood person charged with taking Carrillo and her friends’ order.
Senior director of operations at Saint Marc, Kent Bearden, told the Post that they’ve since fired the waiter who asked the women for their IDs. The restaurant also offered the women a VIP dining experience on the house, which they declined, requesting the money be donated to Orange County Immigrant Youth United instead.
Carrillo, whose parents both immigrated to the US, told the Post that she’d never received this kind of racist treatment before and wondered whether it was perhaps a result of Trump’s presidency.
Bearden expressed his concern about a former employee having violating company standards for treating patrons, but didn’t elaborate on this point. “I don’t know if he had an agenda or not,” Bearden said.