Black barista sacked by café manager who 'told him customers are racist'

A café manager has been sacked after he allegedly fired a UK barista because he was black.

Ayokunle Oluwalana, a journalism graduate from London, had only worked five shifts at XS Espresso in Bondi when he was let go last Thursday.

In a video that has gone viral on social media, he claimed his manager – also a man of colour – had approached him to say customers had complained about his coffee.

“I was very surprised, given I have only heard good things and I have only got compliments about it,” he said in the video.

“Then he goes, ‘Well, you know how Bondi is, the locals are a bit racist’. So I am like, ‘Oh, so that’s the real reason?’



“And he’s like, ”Yeah, they like their coffee made by the people that are there already, by the barista that’s there already’, who’s a white guy.”

Hundreds of outraged viewers voiced their support for Mr Oluwalana and the café has since issued a public apology.

“XS Espresso has a ZERO racism tolerance,” the company said in a statement.

XS Espresso also claims its staff have received violent threats in the last week.

The statement added: “We have not taken this matter lightly.”

The manager in question no longer works for the company after he “didn’t stand up against discrimination”, it said.

Mr Oluwalana has been offered his job back with the café until his Australian VISA expires in November.



Black barista sacked by café manager who 'told him customers are racist'

“We would also like to thank Ayokunle who confirmed that he does not believe the company is racist and that the whole company embraces multiculturalism,” XS Espresso said.

“We not only embrace multiculturalism, it is a core element of our brand, across our store locations as XS lives amongst a range of multicultural communities.

“Just as the Bondi region is built on multiculturalism, our brand will always be home to people from all over the world.

“We have taken this as a massive learning opportunity. The company has embedded extra precautions to prevent such incidents in the future.”

Mr Oluwalana has thanked those who helped him share his story and get him an apology from the café.



Black barista sacked by café manager who 'told him customers are racist'

“I wish I could be angry but for some reason, I can’t find that switch to be able to turn it on,” he said, adding he was “shocked” by how many people had seen and responded to his original video.

“I’m moving on and I’m happy to put a pin in it, to move on and to not waste any more time on this situation.

“I am surprisingly not sad or angry, but more so pleased and proud of the response shown, that gives me faith in the world in these current times.”

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