Skip to comments.Yank Sing Profiles Customers As Asian, Non-Asian
Posted on 09/08/2013 12:01:45 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Turns out that the ordering system at Yank Sing, that profiles customers on whether they're Asian, non-Asian or child, is the company's way of tracking demographics.
A popular photo posted on Reddit earlier today shows a waiter ringing in a customer's tab and captures a computer screen where servers must categorize the diner on their Asian or non-Asian background.
Shift lead Shi Li, who works at the Stevenson St. location downtown, said that the options don't lead to any sort of discount, extras, or priority seating.
"We serve only Asian food and my boss just wants to keep track of what kind of people are eating here" Li said. "There's no special discount for anybody."
Li was unable to comment on why they didn't profile other races. When asked about the demographic of Asian to non-Asian, Li said that it's a 50-50 split.
Yank Sing, a popular, white-clothed dim sum parlor frequented by FiDi business types in tailored suits and ties won SF Weekly's award for best dim sum in 2002 and 2005. The restaurant also won a James Beard award in 2009.
Mr. Mercat and I have a theory that the best Chinese/Asian restaurants are the ones where you have to walk up two or three flights of stairs and more than half of the customers are asian.
When going for Dim Sum in Cleveland, I first drive past all the good places, and check out the one that has the most Hondas and Toyotas in the parking lot. It’s an interesting game, as the restaurant owners are constantly fighting over, and stealing each others chefs. And whomever loses, goes to China/Hong Kong to find a new star.
Mmm...*dim sum*. Truly one of the greatest dining experiences one can have. My mouth still waters over the dim sum meals I had in Hong Kong, oh so many years ago. Wish I could find a good Chinese place in my town that specializes in dim sum.
hmmm Hondas and Toyotas. Interesting.
Might make sense, since what Americans want from “asian” restaurants is different than what Asians want. So, if they know who their customers are, they can tailor their menu appropriately.
At Indian and Thai restaurants they often will only give you bland food if you are non-Asian, even if you ask for it as Thai hot.
Judging ethnic background by car type without actually seeing the driver pretty much only works east of the Rockies, I suspect.
Ha! While I haven't noticed any problem at this particular restaurant, which is excellent, there are other top dim sum joints in SF where you'll practically starve to death waiting for service after you have been seated if you are not Asian. Only whites seem to be concerned about "acts of racial rudeness" which do not directly affect them. Elsewhere it's hypocrisy galore.
I feel really comfortable in any asian restaurant when I see we're the only Europeans there. Then I know I'll get some pretty authentic food. This Westernized stuff, while good, is sameo-sameo in most circumstances. With the authentic dishes, there's always something new - but I stay away from anything that has tentacles in it.
[Sidebar}I was in Venezuela and, with a bunch of the crew, hit a Chinese eatery. The waiter comes up and asks, "Que quiere?" I almost dropped my teeth as I expected English with a Chinese accent. Another stereotype bites the dust.
Been to lots of Chinese restos’ from Vancouver BC to DC. One thing I learned is that the smaller venues like 20 tables or less, have better food. You won’t have to endure Chinese Waiter Torture’ as well with the wait time as smaller restos’ have happier staffs, especially with the Chinese.
Also I forgot about the Chinese restos’, they don’t have a “holiday”. New Year’s day or Christmas Day, they’re open.
Most better Chinese restaurants have an American menu for the gweilo (white devils) and a separate Chinese menu for insiders. The regular menu is full of the expected sugary, flour-y, American-style Chinese dishes that Chinese people never eat. The Chinese menu has rabbits and pigeons and frogs and sea cucumbers, but it also has much better quality food so remember to ask for it (it almost always has the dish names in English, too).
Learned that “intelligence gathering” trick from my Shanghai-born lady friend.
I’ve had that dual menu crap pulled on me a few times. I used to dine at a place with chinese colleagues and we got extensive menus and great food. I went alone once and got some little pamphlet that barely had anything listed of what I usually would get. Never went there again.
If I want dumbed down ‘ethnic’ food I can find it in the frozen entree section of my grocery store.
Seinfeld did an episode about that rudeness. Didn’t realize it may have been based on real life.
At Mexican restaurants (real ones), they often give the white customers “gringo tacos” unless you specifically ask for ones with the authentic toppings. So, instead of onions & cilantro, the gringos get lettuce & tomato :)
“there are other top dim sum joints in SF where you’ll practically starve to death waiting for service after you have been seated if you are not Asian.”
I’d wait a reasonable amount of time, then call over the waiter, take some money from my wallet, show it to him, and say “This is what your tip would have been if you hadn’t been slacking off”, then walk out.
Back in 1968, when I was a graduate student at Ohio State, I wanted to take my wife out to dinner on Christmas. To my dismay, the only restaurant in our part of town that was open was a Chinese restaurant. Fortunately, she liked Chinese food.
I never thought about that before, but I had a look this morning. One Asian family across the street has a Toyota car and a Honda m/c, their tenant has a Ford p/u: the other has 2 Toyota pickups, a Toyota car and a Nissan car. Their tenant has a Toyota p/u as well...
The Indian restaurants I go to will serve you as hot as you like, but they also tell you that if it’s too hot, that’s too bad!
I make a point of asking for “extra screaming death-pain” hot, and that’s what I get.
Some mornings following those dinners can be...uncomfortable shall we say. (BG)
Another good indicator is if there are a bunch of old Asian guys out front, smoking cigarettes ;)