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In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

author:Mizukisha

Ever heard of online card dealing, ever of online greeting and online cashiering? Recently, several new restaurant chains in New York City are outsourcing their staff to the Philippines.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The picture is from nypost, and the copyright belongs to the original author

These "remote attendants" use Zoom video calls to work online, replacing in-store staff and helping restaurants greet customers and check out. When an unsuspecting customer approaches, they are called.

Although there is a 12-hour time difference between the Philippines and New York, they greet warmly, explain the menu and beckon guests in.

When customers don't need a waiter for a while, they coordinate delivery orders, answer phone calls and check online review pages for restaurants as far away as the Philippines.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The picture is from nypost, and the copyright belongs to the original author

These chains mainly deal in Japanese-style fried chicken and ramen. As for why such a "brilliant" way was come up, of course, it was to save costs.

They take advantage of the huge wealth gap between New York and the countries of Southeast Asia. In New York City, the minimum wage is $16 per hour, while in Southeast Asian countries, the hourly wage is just under $3.75.

These "remote attendants" can be said to be their cheap labor.

Interestingly, when customers finish their meal at the store and check out, they are still prompted to add an extra 18% tip to the bill, even if there is no real "person" serving them.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The picture is from nypost, and the copyright belongs to the original author

Two days ago, a reporter from the New York Post went to experience remote service.

When he arrived at the restaurant, he was greeted by a 33-year-old Pie, a waitress from Subic City, Philippines, who was working remotely from her living room at home.

She's been in this job for about six months, rotating between different restaurants and different screens, working for three different restaurants at the same time.

Pie declined to disclose her pay, but she said that even though she wasn't actually there, customers sometimes left generous tips.

She said she once got a $40 tip at Yaso Kitchen in Jersey City, adding that she would share the tip with the restaurant's manager and kitchen staff.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The picture is from nypost, and the copyright belongs to the original author

With such a novel operation, the reaction of customers is, of course, - dumbfounded...

Imagine you walk into a New York restaurant and you're greeted by a Filipino on the other end of the screen???

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

Some find it novel, and Pie says remote waiters are even one of the attractions of restaurants.

"Customers come in and are surprised to find a virtual cashier," she said. "Some people think we're AI, and they'll ask me if it's real. ”

Others believe that this approach lacks human interaction and deprives the service of something precious.

"I don't know if this way will take some people's jobs. But I think that when the waiter is not present, the meaning of service is lost. If you're a regular visitor to a place and go there often, you'll want to feel like home. A customer said.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The picture is from nypost, and the copyright belongs to the original author

Unbeknownst to many, the remote attendant is the brainchild of Chi Zhang, a 34-year-old Chinese guy who is the founder of Happy Cashier, a virtual assistant company.

He revealed that the remote attendant has been quietly on duty since October last year. They can participate in food ordering, but they can't manage cash transactions. Some ramen joints, fried chicken restaurants, and two Chinese restaurants on the island of Long Island are currently testing the service in Queens, Manhattan, New York, and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Zhang also used to run a Shanghai restaurant in Brooklyn, but it closed down during the pandemic.

He said the experience reinforced the idea that restaurants are being squeezed by high rents and inflation, and that the model of remote attendants (somewhat similar to those employed by overseas call centers) can help maximise the use of small retail space and improve store efficiency.

Zhang explained that the remote attendants were employees of the virtual assistant company Happy Cashier, not the restaurant.

"They are paid $3 an hour, which is about double the salary of their equivalent in the Philippines. The tipping policy is set by the restaurants, where one of the restaurants will tip the remote waiter 30% daily. ”

The restaurant industry has long been an entry point for immigrants and a hotbed of labor violations such as wage deductions.

But a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Labor said Happy Cashier's employment model is legal and that minimum wage laws only apply to workers "within the geographic boundaries of the state."

Although these new restaurants combine two of Americans' least favorite things — tipping and outsourcing work, this could be the customer service model of the future.

Zhang said he expects more than 100 restaurants in New York State to have remote servers by the end of the year.

非盈利组织联合餐厅机会中心 (Restaurant Opportunities Centers United) 的幕僚长特奥菲洛·雷耶斯 (Teófilo Reyes) 表示,这种前景令人担忧。

"They found a way to outsource their work to another country, which is extremely disturbing because it will put a huge downward pressure on wages in the waiter industry. He said

Brett Goldstein, a 33-year-old tech entrepreneur who posted on X about "remote attendants," noted that remote employees are a "clear way to cut costs" and could lead to more bizarre dystopian advancements in the future.

"Today, it's a Filipino woman behind a screen, controlling the POS system – but it's not hard to imagine that in the next six to twelve months, this could be an AI avatar doing the exact same thing. ”

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

For this brand-new model, netizens are also mixed...

This will make armed robbery disappear. In addition, the overseas online employees are actually happy to work there, rather than frustrated baristas interacting with you without a soul.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

Your lunch may be equivalent to six times her hourly wage.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

What?!Do people now have to compete with people on zoom?artificial intelligence, robots... It's a bit too much.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

No wonder I called customer service and often heard the sound of chickens crowing in the background, it turned out that the customer service staff were all outsourced to the Philippines and just pretending to be in the United States

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines
In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines
In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

I'm in Shanghai, and most restaurants don't even have cashiers anymore. Just scan the barcode and you're ready to order.

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

On the other hand, there are now robotic surgical equipment in hospitals, and doctors can operate remotely, perform surgery on patients, and use small robotic arm tools!

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

So, is the tipping interface still like this?

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

So has the food become cheaper?

In order to save money, American restaurants actually put cashiers in the Philippines

The question is, would you still be willing to tip if you meet a remote attendant?

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