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Apr 17

An NYC Restaurant Outsourced Their Cashiers to the Philippines Via Zoom: Here’s Why It’s Got People Talking

Recently, a bewildered customer had a unique experience at a New York restaurant that went viral.

In case you haven’t heard, the said restaurant employs a remote cashier to greet and take customers’ orders — from the other side of the world! 

Based in the Philippines, the remote cashier cheerfully greets astonished customers from a tablet’s screen, sparking a heated debate about ethical business practices in the process.

So, what’s all the fuss about? Let’s find out. 

Why Remote Cashiers Are Drawing Attention

Why Remote Cashiers Are Drawing Attention

Customers have mixed reactions to someone controlling a POS system thousands of miles away. 

A few appreciate the novelty, even admitting that the remote cashier is part of the restaurant’s allure, helping it stand out among its competitors. 

On the other hand, some prefer to interact with staff in person, arguing that video calls are no substitute for human interaction. 

However, both the business owner and the remote cashier are happy with the setup. 

Since the cost of living and minimum wage is much lower in the Philippines, the business owner benefits from significant cost savings – and access to a talent pool so renowned for its world-class customer service that they’ve helped many Western SMEs grow faster behind the scenes.

Despite the glaring disparity between New York City’s and the Philippines’ standard wage rates, the remote cashier earns well above average back home, thanks to the exchange rate in favour of the US dollar. Best of all, customers leave generous tips -even if she’s not there in person. 

Still, this arrangement isn’t exactly new.

Filipino Remote Talent: The Open Secret of Many Western SMEs

Filipino Remote Talent: The Open Secret of Many Western SMEs

According to Forbes, the work-from-home (WFH) model started nearly three decades ago. By the 2000s, more employees worked remotely – with at least one day at home per week. 

This setup became more mainstream in 2020 when businesses turned to WFH out of necessity – with many discovering outsourcing for the first time. 

After that, more and more companies started offering full remote work opportunities for software developers, graphic designers, accountants, writers, virtual assistants, and even virtual receptionists. 

A big percentage of them come from the Philippines, a Southeast Asian country with a high literacy rate, proficiency in the English language, and a robust Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

True enough, transitioning to remote work proved to be a cost-effective strategy. 

Businesses enjoyed big cost savings on overhead costs including rent, utilities, maintenance, and other expenses associated with occupying a physical office. Their Filipino remote talent’s extensive experience and training, particularly in customer service, also set them apart from their competitors early on.

Remote workers in the Philippines, on the other hand, reported increased productivity, less burnout, and improved overall well-being. Earning in dollars in a country where the exchange rate greatly favours Western currencies also didn’t hurt.

However, this approach isn’t without its challenges – or grey areas.

Furthermore, as the discourse over the NYC restaurant demonstrates, outsourcing to the Philippines still raises a lot of questions about ethics.

Practical and Ethical Considerations 

Practical and Ethical Considerations 

 

Many are still against hiring remote workers because of its effect on their community. They argue that outsourcing can take gainful employment away from locals. 

However, studies show that outsourcing can help companies become more competitive by reducing costs and increasing efficiency. This, in turn, leads to increased demand for products and services, creating new job opportunities in the local market. 

Meanwhile, some argue that the arrangement exploits remote workers, with many receiving far less than the minimum wage – and by their Western counterparts doing the same job. 

However, they don’t factor in the significant differences between the cost of living in the Philippines vs. in Western countries – as well as the exchange rate. This is how many Western businesses save on labour costs -while still compensating their Filipino talent fairly handsomely. 

This makes it a win-win scenario – and why remote work continues to thrive today.

 

That being said, making this arrangement work (and succeed) depends highly on the right outsourcing partner. 

While Filipino remote talent are renowned for their skills and hospitality, partnering with the right company can spare you the trouble of getting scammed by unscrupulous independent contractors – not to mention an established record for matching thousands of AU companies with the right talent for thriving and mutually beneficial working relationships that lasts years and years.

For the last 16 years and counting, Remote Staff has been matching AU business owners and entrepreneurs with skilled Filipino remote workers, helping them grow their businesses faster while freeing them up to focus on more important things – like enjoying the fruits of their labour with their loved ones. 

At the same time, Remote Staff has also provided thousands of Filipinos with sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families– without having to leave their home country. 

When you’re ready to see how far outsourcing can take your business – without the backlash that the NYC restaurant is currently experiencing – call us today or request a call back now. 

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Syrine is studying law while working as a content writer. When she’s not writing or studying, she engages in tutoring, events planning, and social media browsing. In 2021, she published her book, Stellar Thoughts.

About The Author

Syrine is studying law while working as a content writer. When she’s not writing or studying, she engages in tutoring, events planning, and social media browsing. In 2021, she published her book, Stellar Thoughts.

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