A Bondi cafe has been blasted after firing a barista who claims he lost his job because “the locals are a bit racist” and preferred their coffee made by a white barista.
Ayo Lana, a barista from London, claims he lost his job at Bondi’s XS Espresso franchise for being black. He took to Instagram to share his story, quickly receiving an outpour of support from people who condemned the business’ actions.
“It was going well, no complaints whatsoever. And then today after my shift the manager pulls me off to the side and he’s just like, ‘Ayo we’ve been having some complaints recently about your coffee and we are going to have to let you go’,” he said in an Instagram story on Friday night.
Ayo then went on to explain that he was shocked at the news considering he had only received positive feedback for his coffee-making skills.
“I’m like, ‘Oh that’s very surprising given I have only heard good things and I have only got compliments about it,” he explained.
“Then he goes, ‘Well you know how Bondi is, the locals are a bit racist … they like their coffee made by the people that are there already, by the barista that’s there already, who’s a white guy’.”
Despite his boss allegedly telling Lana that they “really like [him]”, he was let go because “the locals, they like their coffee a certain way.”
Following the outpouring of support, Ayo took to Instagram to explain that he is “moving on and [he’s] happy to put a pin in it, to move on and not waste any more time on this situation.
“I am surprisingly not sad or angry, but more so pleased and proud of the responses show, that gives me faith in the world in these current times,” he added.
Following the ordeal, XS Espresso released a statement condemning the “gross misconduct which should not have happened.”
“As a brand we stand in solidarity against systemic racism, and are extremely disheartened and grieved that inequality was among us,” XS Espresso said on Instagram. “This was an isolated incident of gross misconduct which should not have happened, and we are terribly remorseful for the treatment he received.”
View this post on Instagram
We are listening and understand everyone’s frustrations and concerns regarding the employee and his employment status at XS Espresso. We want to emphasise that we cannot disclose any further information about this employee due to legalities. We have never tolerated discrimination, and the individual involved has been subject to consequences accordingly. We appreciate how proactive the community has been. We are taking responsibility to continue to enforce a non-discriminatory and safe environment for our customers and staff.
The company has released two statements via Instagram since the story went viral, however the fate of the manager in question remains unclear.