Samuelson-Stolper, writ anew

Samuelson-Stolper, writ anew
By: Marginal Revolution Posted On: April 14, 2024 View: 86

At Sansan Chicken in Long Island City, Queens, the cashier beamed a wide smile and recommended the fried chicken sandwich.

Or maybe she suggested the tonkatsu — it was hard to tell, because the internet connection from her home in the Philippines was spotty.

Romy, who declined to give her last name, is one of 12 virtual assistants greeting customers at a handful of restaurants in New York City, from halfway across the world.

The virtual hosts could be the vanguard of a rapidly changing restaurant industry, as small-business owners seek relief from rising commercial rents and high inflation. Others see a model ripe for abuse: The remote workers are paid $3 an hour, according to their management company, while the minimum wage in the city is $16.

Here is more from the NYT, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.

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