New York restaurant chain hires remote Filipino hostesses to get around minimum wage law
· Apr 11, 2024 ·

We know, from ample experience, that high minimum wage laws have a rather depressive effect on huge parts of the economy, most notably fast food:

Among the more incredible yet still fairly predictable results of New York's sky-high minimum wage: restaurant workers that are actually located thousands of miles away!

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.

New York City restaurant owners running those numbers like:

Ah, the market always finds a way.

But sometimes due to government stupidity, the way involves some really bizarre arrangements, like that at Sansan Chicken:

On a recent afternoon at Sansan Chicken in Long Island City, a reporter for The Post was greeted by Pie, a 33-year-old hostess who works from her living room in the Philippine city of Subic. ...

Pie declined to disclose how much she was paid but said customers sometimes leave generous tips despite the fact that she's not actually there in person.

Once, she got $40 at Yaso Kitchen in Jersey City, she said — adding that she splits tips with her manager and kitchen staff at the restaurant.

Remote work from 8,500 miles away and still she has to share her tips!

The Post, meanwhile, says that it's "not clear who owns the restaurants, and how much the hostesses are getting paid."

Pro tip for New York: Stop making it too expensive to hire New Yorkers and maybe you can nip this in the bud.

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