A Barista's Disturbing Drink Confession Might Radicalize You

While you may already know that workers in the hospitality and restaurant industry are on the lower end of the compensation spectrum, a barista offered up an additional perspective that may outrage you.

According to Indeed, the average hourly wage at coffee shops in the United States is $14.12, with the barista position among the five lowest paid positions in the workforce (per The Street). It could have been the latter that then prompted Starbucks to increase its workers' salaries in 2022. The coffee franchise hiked its average hourly rate up to $17 per hour on August 1, 2022 (via Starbucks).

Perhaps Starbucks sets the bar for how much a barista makes across the industry, per Coffee Affection. But, more importantly, we should be asking if their pay represents the coffee-making artisan's value, especially considering that the skilled barista makes up to 90 cups of coffee in an hour. The average americano is at least $2.70 for a cup, per U.S. News, meaning that the $14 to $17 per hour coffee clerk can generate up to $243 in revenue per hour for their bosses.

Tiktoks underpaid Barista

In a now-deleted video, TikTok user august! stated: "It's actually so f**ked up that as a barista, someone can come up and order two drinks and that costs more than what I make in an hour. Two drinks that I can make in two minutes, and I make less than that in one hour." He implied that this is an industry-wide issue, elaborating further: "I do not work at Starbucks; this issue is bigger than Starbucks."

Another response interjected, "But you make up for it with tips." Apparently, that is a myth, with one user claiming they walk away with $11 a week after everybody gets their cut. Another reply divulged a customer's perspective: "Today at my job, someone said, 'but who tips at Starbucks.'"

While TikTok's baristas do not profess to make megabucks in tips, some people realize the difference a dollar for every drink bought can make to the staff. Be that as it may, patrons are less prone to tip baristas than they are waiters and bartenders, according to the Washington Post. As a result, the nationally treasured coffee makers are relying on comparatively less to make a living.