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Barista gets big tip after customer Facebook complaint



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A customer at a Costco in Colorado filmed an employee asking him to leave for not wearing a mask.

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GoFundMe campaign for a San Diego Starbucks barista has raised more than $62,000 after a customer’s Facebook post went viral.

In a Facebook post Monday, Amber Lynn Gilles posted a photo of a barista named Lenin Gutierrez and says he refused her service for not wearing a mask.

“Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption,” Giles wrote in a Facebook post. 

Many jumped to Gutierrez’s defense and debated the use of masks. The post has more than 133,000 comments and 109,000 reactions Saturday morning. 

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San Diego started requiring masks or face coverings May 1 and the state of California added the requirement June 18.

“We want everyone to feel welcome in our stores,” a Starbucks spokesperson told USA TODAY. “We respectfully request customers follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores.”

Matt Cowan, of Irvine, California, doesn’t know Gutierrez but started the virtual tip jar Tuesday with a GoFundMe campaign titled “Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen.” The initial goal was to raise $1,000.

Gutierrez posted a Facebook video Wednesday to share his side of what happened and said as an aspiring dancer the GoFundMe will help him pursue his dreams.

“Thank you for all the love and support. It’s been so helpful and so shocking to see something get so big that only happened within a few minutes,” he said in the video where he outlined the incident.

The incident is similar to one at a Costco store in Arvada, Colorado when a shopper took a video of a Costco employee with a badge name “Tison” asking him to leave the store for not wearing a mask. Comments in that case overwhelming supported the employee over the shopper.

“I’ll just put you on my 3,000-follower Instagram feed, mostly loved ones,” the customer says to the Costco employee as he starts recording the interaction.

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

Contributing: Josh Rivera

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2020/06/26/starbucks-tip-barista-gofundme-customer-mask-complaint-facebook-covid-19/3266657001/





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