GIVE TIL IT HURTS

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Unintended consequences

Know how I like to say that there’s always a workaround, and that Americans will always find it? WELL, then.

This NYC chicken joint employs cashiers Zooming in from the Philippines — and still wants you to tip!
Every cashier wants a tip these days — but what if they’re on the other side of the world?

A new restaurant chain in New York City is outsourcing staff to the Philippines, using screens with hostesses on Zoom calls instead of in-person employees to greet customers and help with check-out.

The shops — which specialize in fried chicken and ramen — are taking advantage of the massive wealth gap between New York City, where the minimum wage is $16 per hour and a Southeast Asian nation where hourly pay is closer to $3.75.

But when customers check out at Sansan Chicken, Sansan Ramen, or Yaso Kitchen — with locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Jersey City — they’re still prompted to add a tip of up to 18% on top of their bill.

So? With the money the restaurant is saving its customers via its initiative and ingenuity, they can afford to tip. Although I ain’t entirely convinced of either the necessity or the propriety of tipping cashiers, I must say; I never have done it, and almost certainly never will. Bayou Peter hits the bottom line:

That’s certainly a win, cost-wise, for the restaurant chain; even accounting for the cost of trans-Pacific Internet links and computer hardware, they must be saving well over 50% on staff costs. It’s probably also a win for the staff in the Philippines, who at least have steady employment at a local wage that can support them – although I’m sure they’d prefer to earn closer to the New York City mandated wage and salary scale. As for the customers? I’m not sure I’d like to deal solely with a screen for a sit-down meal, as opposed to a live human being. However, others may think differently about that.

What is certain is that this is yet another nail in the coffin of entry-level jobs, which have traditionally offered first employment to young people starting out to earn a living. Mandating a minimum wage too high for businesses to afford means they’re going to switch to something they can afford, and in this case that means removing several dozen jobs from the local market. Other restaurants and fast food chains are moving towards robots to prepare the food and take orders for it, with only minimal human staffing to keep the robots supplied with ingredients and periodically clean up the place. Again, those jobs are lost to the local market, and I don’t see them coming back.

Again: SO? Keep voting for D卐M☭CRATs and getting what you deserve, New Yorkers—good, and hard.

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2 thoughts on “Unintended consequences

  1. I’m surprised Reverend Al hasn’t shown up with his protest mob.  This takes jobs from The Community™.

  2. The average rent in NYC is $5600 per month this year, which drives the class of people who actually work for a living, right out of town – unless they work for the government, and even then… The place is like SFCA – in a Uniparty death spiral: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnGrvkXPQRQ

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