XS Espresso manager sacks employee over ‘racist’ locals
Barista Ayokunle Oluwalana was allegedly let go from his position as a barista at XS Espresso Bondi for his skin colour.
In an Instagram post, the 25-year-old British-Nigerian journalism graduate from London said he was surprised when his manager told him there had been complaints about his coffee, given he’d only received compliments from customers during his time at the outlet.
According to Oluwalana, the manager then said, “well, you know how Bondi is; the locals they’re a bit racist. They like their coffee made by the barista that’s there already”, who Oluwalana goes on to say is a “white guy”.
So the manager at Bondi XS Espresso fired an employee due to his skin colour saying that the ‘locals’ are racist and like their coffee made by the other barista (yt of course). Anyways boycott the Bondi store xx pic.twitter.com/OVBV6ACfvaAdvertisement
— emz (@emilyphvm) June 18, 2020
The Sydney coffee chain apologised to Oluwalana, posting a statement to Facebook on Thursday 18 June.
The brand said it would be taking a number of actions to ensure the incident was an isolated one, such as anti-discrimination training for all staff; implementing an in-depth on-boarding program to ensure all future team members are aware of brand values; and revising policies to ensure a safe and inclusive environment.
XS Espresso also said their would be consequences for the manager, whose future at the company has yet to be determined.
As a brand we stand in solidarity against systemic racism, and are extremely disheartened and grieved that inequality…
Oluwalana has accepted the apology, but said he’d now like to put a pin in the situation, which he hopes will be a learning experience for all.
“… These have been a crazy 20 hours and I’m shocked to see how far this thing has gone,” Oluwalana said in an Instagram post. “It was never the intention, I just wanted some of you to know what happened.
“After speaking to the owner of the whole company, I do believe that he is shocked and saddened by what happened and the manager of the Bondi franchise has been reprimanded for his actions.
“I am surprisingly not sad or angry, but more so pleased and proud of the responses shown, that gives me faith in the world in these current times.”
View this post on Instagram
Thank you all. The support has been crazy, completely unexpected. I do believe @xsespresso are sorry and after speaking to staff, I do believe the Bondi location was simply a bad apple. They will be making a statement and hopefully learning & will be able to teach people from this unfortunate incident. Hopefully, this is a lesson learned for all Onto bigger and better ✊🏿
In an article published by Huffpost, Oluwalana wrote: “I believe the decision was money motivated and he didn’t want to lose his clientele, but if that is your clientele, then they’re not people you should continue welcoming. Your staff should be able to trust you to have their backs. There should never be a time when you side with racists over your employees. That goes for all hospitality managers.”