Starbucks Baristas Need to Quit Griping and Get Back to Work

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Nicole Akers
3 min readApr 12, 2022


Photo by Lucas Vicente from Pexels

If baristas had a pow-wow session during a break to discuss their gripes on the job, especially if they work at Starbucks, they’d likely also be talking about fulfilling mile-long tickets and what they have to go through to make special request items that end up in TikTok videos.

Don’t get me wrong, I know coffee is serious business. The rare morning I don’t get my morning coffee sets the tone for a no good, horrible, very bad day. On rare occasions, I might visit a Starbucks as a special treat.

My kids think it’s trendy and ask to make an occasional Starbucks run. For a treat, I might oblige them with their sugar milk. Mostly, we make a fine cup of coffee at home, and it’s pricey to have a barista make what I can make at home almost as well.

My kids are quick to show me TikTok vids of hilarious Starbucks creations, either by baristas or by customers who make ‘crazy’ requests hoping to go viral.

The Financial Times offers a headline that caught my attention, “Starbucks baristas are oppressed by TikTok Frappuccinos.”

According to USA Today, baristas who make an average of $17 per hour complain that their job is too hard. For perspective, some baristas can be considered for an additional $5 per hour raise in late 2022.

Before the pandemic, that rate rivaled skilled workers. Certainly, the times have changed, and safety issues have to be addressed. But, if one of the hardest things you have to do is to count how many pumps of this syrup or that syrup goes into the coffee you’re making, you’re doing very well, mate.

I’m sorry, dear barista, that your mental health is at risk because you are stressed that the next customer may make a video and chuckle while you make her drink. But, if you’re making upwards of $17 per hour, you ought to be able to smile and have fun on TikTok too.

Many baristas do. As far as I can tell, very few baristas have been fired for their TikTok vids. Most laugh and play along.

If a customer wants to pay $5 for some crazy sugar milk, it’s their prerogative to spend their money as they see fit. Just because I won’t pay crazy prices for my kid’s sugar…



Nicole Akers

Teacher | Happy Mom of 2 brings amazing tips on parenting, learning, & lifestyle | 🐶 Mom | Bestselling Author | Founder of Publishous. Keep that smile.