This is the question that lost a waiter his job.

A group of women were having lunch at a cafe in Huntington Beach, California, when they were approached by staff at the Saint Marc cafe.

Diana Carrillo posted to Facebook about her experience on March 11. She said the group arrived at the cafe to be confronted with a question they never expected to be asked.

They were asked for their "proof of residency".

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"My friend, in disbelief, repeated what he said and his response was 'yeah, I need to make sure you're from here before I serve you'," Ms Carrillo wrote in a post about the incident.

Her friend and sister were seated and asked the question before Ms Carrillo and another friend joined them at the table. The waiter also asked them the question once they sat down, they claim.

"After fully digesting what he said, we all got up and left to speak to the manager," Ms Carrillo wrote.

"For a few seconds I thought maybe he was being a smart a** or joking but the fact he said 'I need to make sure you're from here before I serve you' was completely unacceptable."

"How many others has he said this to? I hope this employee is reprimanded for his actions. No establishment should tolerate discriminatory actions from their employees."

The waiter at the restaurant has since been fired for asking the question.

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A few friends and I went to Saint Marc's in Huntington Beach today. My sister and my friend were seated first and the waiter asked them for their "proof of residency" when they ordered a drink. My friend in disbelief repeated what he said and his response was "yeah, I need to make sure you're from here before I serve you." Not knowing that this happened to them, my friend and I were then seated and he returned to the table and asked us for our "proof of residency." After full...y digesting what he said, we all got up and left to speak to the manager. 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. 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!

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Ms Carrillo, who is of Mexican decent but born in the United States, told the BBC she had never faced discrimination like this before.

"As soon as I sat down, the waiter approached the table and without welcoming us, asked me for my proof of residency," she said.

"I just handed it over to him. I didn't know what to say. I had no words. I felt paralysed literally for a few moments, just in a complete state of shock."

Ms Carrillo was concerned the discrimination was spurred by a push from US President Donald Trump to build a wall on the US-Mexican border.

"I think a lot of people think they have the power to discriminate against people more openly than before," she told the BBC.

"I woke up this morning to a lot of comments stating this is fake news, that this didn't happen. Unfortunately it did happen and it happened to me and three other people. We have to bring awareness to racism and address this."

Diana Carrillo and friends were shocked by a waiter's question. Photo / Facebook
Diana Carrillo and friends were shocked by a waiter's question. Photo / Facebook

The restaurant issued an apology on its Facebook page but has since removed it.


Saint Marc's director of operations Kent Bearden told the Washington Post the waiter had also been fired and his actions were "something that you can't control".

"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," he said.

Ms Carrillo and her friends were offered a VIP experience at the Saint Marc's Pub-Cafe and would give 10 per cent of the weekend's profits to a charity of their choosing.

They rejected the VIP experience but profits were donated to Orange County Immigrant Youth United, a group that fights for the rights of undocumented immigrants.