Barista shares why customers should ‘never come’ to his coffee shop

@ajssway/TikTok chayathon2000/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘The only thing that gets washed daily…’: Barista shares why customers should ‘never come’ to his coffee shop. It backfires

‘Ur part of the problem.’


Natasha Dubash


A barista posted a rundown of the many reasons why customers should avoid coming to his coffee shop, but the video backfired when viewers called the barista out for not doing his job.

AJ (@ajssway) uploaded an almost five-minute video to TikTok detailing the many unhygienic aspects of his job at a coffee shop near the University of Washington campus.

Why is he urging people to stay away?

AJ introduces the content of his post by saying, “Since I’m leaving this job in about a week, I would like to show y’all everything that we have not cleaned more than a handful of times since I’ve been here for the last nine months.”

He then goes on to document the many items and areas of the coffee shop that he alleges have barely been cleaned in the months he’s worked there.

He starts off with the cold brew containers, which he says have never been washed. 

“Don’t even get me started on the rotting countertops and the rotting floor,” he says, adding as he pans the camera to the floor, “There’s black mold under this flooring right here.”

AJ then points to a different corner of the floor that also appears to have some sort of white growth that resembles mold. He also says that the ice cream machine right in that same area of the coffee shop had not been cleaned from the inside after its last use, which had resulted in mold on the inside.

“When you open that lid right there on top, it’s nothing but straight black mold. Like, it burned my nose to breathe in,” he claims.

The egg canister, he says, gets washed once a week despite constantly having egg mixture in it. He then shows the cooler, which, again, he claims has never been washed except for one container. 

“The sausage container gets washed daily,” he acquiesces before adding, “This is the only thing that gets washed daily.” 

AJ then points to the coffee shop’s griddle, microwave, and espresso machine along with its many jugs and accouterments—all of which, he says, are hardly ever washed. He also points to a store room that he says smells of mold. He also shows three sinks that appear dirty, where he says the closing team cleans up. 

“I’m not on closing. I’m only on opening, so don’t f*cking come for me about not washing sh*t,” he quickly adds. 

AJ moves on to the prep area where vegetables are cut and says that sometimes people step on the same counter to retrieve things from the shelves above. 

@ajssway No srsly im sorry but this #seattle #cafe is GROSS but i had to pay my bills. #fyp #uw #universityofwashington ♬ original sound – Aj

Viewers were split

The barista’s post received over 195,000 views, but many viewers pointed out that although the coffee shop was rather dirty, it was arguably his job to help keep it clean.

“Aren’t you supposed to do that?” one viewer asked.

“‘I’m not a closer therefore i’m not here for cleaning’ is a CRAZYYY statement,” someone else wrote. 

However, some viewers argued that it wasn’t the worker’s responsibility to clean all that up. 

“As a barista this is crazy, the owner needs to put better processes in place,” one person said. 

“Good management should have rotational cleaning jobs for every day of the week to take care of the bigger cleaning jobs on top of daily cleaning,” another wrote. 

He’s not the only barista to spill the beans

AJ is one of many food service workers who have exposed their workplaces as unsanitary.

A barista previously went viral after she exposed the grime from clogged pipes at her Dunkin’ location. Another barista shared images of her dirty Starbucks location and attributed the mess to understaffing and the prioritization of cutting labor costs.

The issue even extends beyond coffee shops. One pub worker said he was fired after three days for warning his bosses that the establishment wasn’t “up to food safety standards.”

Though customers can’t always peak into the kitchen to see if a restaurant meets its cleanliness standards, they can look at the bathrooms for a clue. A dirty bathroom is one of several restaurant red flags that one health inspector uses to determine where she would never eat.

The Daily Dot reached out to AJ via Instagram direct message for further information. 

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