Since the 2000s, there’s been a growing trend of bikini baristas. The job is as it sounds—bikini baristas are hired to perform typical barista duties, the main difference being that these baristas are expected to wear significantly less clothing while they do it.
While this idea is not unlike “breastaurants” such as Hooters or Twin Peaks, it has come with significant controversy. Bikini baristas have reported strange and often uncomfortable behavior from customers, ranging from customers offering tips for drinking from their drinks to a customer asking a barista to measure her breasts. In one case, a bikini barista shared that she was sexually assaulted while shopping for groceries after work.
This controversy exists on both sides of the counter, as TikTok user and bikini barista Sarah (@_sarahe30) recently detailed.
In a video with over 276,000 views as of Sunday, Sarah films the lead-up to her quitting her job, including numerous claims about her former employer.
“The company I work for is fucking insane,” she says in the video.
Grwm to quit my jobSelfcare-demo – Bella Moulden
In the video, Sarah alleges that her employer mismanaged scheduling, leading to her not having a consistent schedule for the entire duration of her employment. Furthermore, she says that the company set “insane sales goals” for baristas—and if they could not meet them, their job would be in danger.
“If you don’t reach those sales goals, your job is on the line,” she details. “It’s your fault. You’re not pretty enough, essentially.”
Additionally, she states that there were no consistent rules about what baristas were allowed to wear and do. Instead, “Everyone gets different treatment based on how pretty you are,” she says.
“But as long as you’re blonde, then it’s fine,” she adds.
Finally, she recalls an incident in which the company’s poor scheduling meant that she suddenly had to start waking up at 2am. One day, she opted not to wear a full face of makeup, instead opting for “some freckles” and “some concealer.”
While she received compliments on the job, she says she was later told by her former employer that she was required to wear a “full face of makeup”—something allegedly not requested of other employees.
For these reasons, Sarah left the job without providing two weeks’ notice and began work as a bikini barista in another stand.
In the comments section, users were supportive of Sarah’s decision.
“As you should!!! I only give two weeks to the people I want to use as a reference,” one user wrote.
“Really happy to hear this perspective, i interviewed for the same company and ultimately went elsewhere,” shared another. “this made me feel better about my choice.”
A few shared their own stories.
“When I was a ‘spicy’ bartender my co bartender and I literally walked out right before the rush because of how shitty and awful the owner was,” recalled a commenter.
“Okay seriously why do they even have bikini barista‘s in [Washington] anyway haha. I had a gf do that and literally hated life,” offered a second. “Good luck to you.”
We’ve reached out to Sarah via Instagram direct message.