On Friday, November 18th, 2022, GoFundBean released a nationwide wage survey for coffee workers in the United States. GoFundBean, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing direct support to hourly coffee workers, hopes the survey will promote greater wage transparency, act as a nexus for information, and track how wages have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why It Matters: In 2019, crowdsourced google surveys and spreadsheets began spreading across all industries, including coffee. In these documents, workers could detail how much money they make in their jobs, and quickly revealed wide discrepancies: workers reported wildly disparate wages and salaries despite having similar job titles or more experience.
The Philadelphia Enquirer reported on an early wage spreadsheet shared by baristas across the city, with more spreadsheets showing up in cities like Austin, Chicago, and Cincinnati (you can find a complete list of barista wage spreadsheets here). However, any progress made by these spreadsheets was abruptly stopped. “The movement toward greater transparency on the service side of the coffee industry in 2019 was an important one that got somewhat interrupted by COVID,” a press release from GoFundBean states. “We want to encourage this conversation again. Without clear data about where the industry stands currently, we can’t move forward together.”
The Full Extraction: GodFund Bean has a few goals and objectives for the survey, which is live now and will run through December 31st. From their press release:
- Find and help address pay disparities
- Create a centralized database comparing real wages with estimated living wages using the MIT wage calculator
- Compare current wage data with extant data from 2019 to see if wages have changed in response to inflation
- Data about salaried workers will be compiled to help hourly workers see what is possible outside of the cafe
- Help workers early in their career see how others before them have moved forward
Results from the study will be compiled and analyzed in January, with all identifying information removed. All responses will remain anonymous.
What’s More: Wage transparency has been a hot topic in and out of coffee. This month, New York City passed a resolution compelling all employers to list the salary range for job postings. With pay gaps amongst people of marginalized identities (Time Magazine reports: “While white women in the U.S. on average earn 79% of what white men make, black women earn 63% of what white men make, Native American women bring in 57%, and Hispanic women — 54%.”)
This aims to be one of the most exhaustive surveys of coffee workers to date. “The survey is expansive. It looks at both salaried and hourly workers, and will attempt to measure pay disparities related to race, gender, and sexuality,” the press release states. “Questions also explore how workers feel about their jobs and pay–can they meet their bills, is their workload comfortable, do they get benefits? We want this survey to be relevant to all sectors of the industry, not just cafes.”
Take the survey here.