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Restaurant checking your belongings

I went with my family to the Joe Crabs restaurant and the maitre told us that he would have to exam our belongings in order to let us in. Then he checked everything, probably looking for explosives or weapons. We are not Americans, but tourists. Is that a common practice in the US? We felt abused. If I could go back in time, I would not let them do it and I would have chosen another restaurant to go. What do you think about this kind of "procedure"? Is this "normal"? Or they only do it when they feel the customers are from overseas?

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  1. I have NEVER heard of such a thing in a restaurant!

    1 Reply
    1. re: gblcsw

      It happened at Joe's Crab in Miami Beach (Washington Avenue). We were wearing small backpacks. It was the first time in my life I've seen something like that too.

    2. I would notify the local news outlets. This is highly irregular.

      1. Marc, though I have not eaten at this restaurant, I can tell you it is NOT common. I would inform the management. They have a webpage, so I think an email or phone call would be in order if you're out of the area...or a return visit in-person if it's not too off-putting.

        Did the maƮtre'd say anything to you beyond "he had to examine" your belongings?

        1 Reply
        1. re: pinehurst

          He was very polite, and said that he was very sorry but that he would have to look inside our backpacks in order to let us in. The fact that he was polite and looked embarrassed when examining our belongings made us think that it was some sort of common practice in the US. Just like in Israel, where they have thousands of anti-terrorist procedures that look strange to outsiders but are very normal to the locals. But the thing is: we stayed there in the US for 10 days more and something similar had never happened again. And we were always wearing our backpacks. Actually, I believe not even Joe's Crab does that very often. They probably felt some sort of prejudice towards us, what is crazy when considering that most of the people inside the restaurant were foreign tourists just like us.

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          1. I've never heard of any restaurant doing such a thing. I wonder if they have a sign on the door alerting customers to their procedure?