US: Starbucks barista gets $80,000 tip money for refusing service to customer without mask

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Jun 29, 2020, 12:06 PM IST


Story highlights

The GoFundMe page was initially set up with a goal of gathering an amount close to $1,000. However, Lenin has now received nearly $80,000 as virtual tip through this page.

Post-coronavirus, everyone is being urged to wear face masks when stepping out in public to avoid spread of the novel coronavirus. Majority shops, cafes and restaurants are also urging customers to wear masks before entering the stores.

A Starbucks barista, Lenin Gutierrez, followed the same protocol during his shift at the Genesee Avenue, San Diego branch. He asked a customer to wear a face mask before purchasing her coffee. The customer, Amber Lynn Gilles, did not take the advice in good spirit and lashed out at him before he could even show her the company guidelines.

She further decided to click his picture, without his consent, and posted it on her Facebook page.

This post created a stir on Facebook as people came in support of Lenin. People created memes and sent factual information to Amber to show support with Lenin.

Some people even commented that they wish they could visit the Starbucks branch to appreciate Lenin through tips. This led to a GoFundMe page by a commentor Matt Cowan. The 26-year-old felt Lenin, whom he did not know personally, was being bullied for doing the right thing, and therefore he thought of helping Lenin through whatever way possible.


The GoFundMe page titled "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen," became a huge hit in no time as it gave everyone a chance to send online/virtual tips to Lenin and show support. Matt, initially set up the goal amount to $1,000. However, Lenin has now received nearly $80,000 as virtual tip through this page.

Lenin, later, expalined his side of the story in a Facebook video, in which he explained the whole interaction he had with Amber and how she "flipped" him off. He also admitted that he did not intercept that she would post on Facebook and it would become such a big issue.

Lenin now hopes to help those in need and fulfill his passion of becoming a dancer with this donation.