Starbucks Fires Barista Who Recorded “Starbucks Rant Song” on YouTube

Christopher Cristwell, the shirtless Starbucks barista who recorded the "Starbucks Rant Song" this summer, was let go this week by Starbucks. Cristwell worked at the Starbucks in Chowchilla, Calif.

As reported by The Boston Herald today, Cristwell said the following:


“In a way, I did them a favor,” the 25-year-old musician told the Working Stiff in a phone interview. “I saw this as the only way those of us on the lowest rungs of the ladder can make any changes. They obviously didn’t see me as a threat because they let me work for a week since my first meeting with human resources.”

Although his “Starbucks Rant Song” has attracted only a modest 29,000-plus hits since late July, Cristwell’s video has spread virally with company employees on Facebook and Web forums such as Starbucks Gossip. Wearing a plain green apron while playing the guitar, he sprinkles mild profanity throughout the song and ends with a disclaimer that it doesn’t represent the views of the company or himself.


“This song is not 100 percent autobiographical,” Cristwell said. “The funny part is that I truly consider myself a people person, and I’m really passionate about coffee.”

“In any high stress environment, you need to have healthy ways to break the tension,” he added. “If you go work at Starbucks, I bet you that after your shift you’ll be complaining about the same things to your friends.”

This is the song that was orginally posted on YouTube. 

Starbucks issued a statement about the incident, as the Herald reports:


Starbucks spokesman Alan Hilowitz was not available for comment last night. But in a prepared statement on Monday, he confirmed that management met with Cristwell last week to discuss his motivation.

“While Christopher was expressing his own views in the video, the disparaging remarks about our customers and company are unacceptable and out of line with our commitment to our customers and partners,” he wrote. Starbucks, which operates more than 17,000 stores worldwide, refers to its employees as “partners.”

Yesterday, Cristwell posted this video after getting news of being fired.


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