Latina Women Asked to Show ‘Proof of Residency’ Before Restaurant Would Serve Them

Four customers say they were humiliated at a California restaurant when they were asked to prove they were American

“Did he really just say that?” one customer asked her friend.

One California restaurant has come under fire for contemptuous behavior by one of its servers toward a group of Latina customers. Four Hispanic women were dining out at Saint Marc in Huntington Beach, when they were asked a surprising and insulting question: “Can I see your proof of residency?”

Before the waiter would serve the four women, according to the Chicago Tribune, he said, “I need to make sure you’re from here.” The women, who were having a girls’ night out, handed over their IDs but were baffled by the blatantly discriminatory action.

They told the manager what had happened, and he offered them a new seat in a different waiter’s section and offered his business card “to make things right,” but they decided they had had enough and left the restaurant.

“How many others has he said this too [sic]?” customer Diana Carrillo wondered in a social media post about the experience. “I hope this employee is reprimanded for his actions. No establishment should tolerate discriminatory actions from their employees.”

A week later, after the post started to circulate online, the restaurant contacted the women to offer them a “VIP experience” and offered to donate 10 percent of the weekend’s proceeds to a charity of the group’s choice. The restaurant also confirmed with press that the waiter in question has been terminated, although this was the first time a complaint of this kind had been made about him.


Carrillo added that she decided not to tell her mother — who is an immigrant — about the humiliating situation. "She always told us, 'I can handle discrimination,'" Carrillo told The Chicago Tribune. "I know it's part of my life."