Yank Sing Profiles Customers As Asian, Non-Asian

yanksing_asian_nonasian.jpg
Reddit
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.




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26 comments
les.tso
les.tso

Personally don't think it's necessary, but can understand why they would do it. Assuming their staff is more foreign born, language and cultural barriers often come into play, so this can be a shorthand way to provide service. For instance, many non-Asians are not into chicken feet, entrails, un-shelled shrimp, tentacles, bones, the expensive lobster noodles, but are open to buns, beer, sweet and sour, kung pao. 

Asians are more okay with specialty soups, weird veggies, bitter melon, stinky bean curd, shrimp base, whole fish (with bones), live seafood, while forgoing buns (considered too filling), too many fried items, sweet dishes.

Children tend to like staples like buns, noodles, beef, and chicken breast rather than anything exotic or healthy (!).

Obviously, these are generalizations. If the staff is fluent, they should chat with the customers to determine their interests. Anyone who has worked in a restaurant can share stories of how often diners send back dishes prepared properly, but not as the diner expected.

Jonsey Balonsey
Jonsey Balonsey

If a half Asian, half white child comes in to eat their delicious wings, which button do they press?

Jewel Casinelli-Paragon RE
Jewel Casinelli-Paragon RE

read the article a few days ago...didn't stop me from dining there about an hour ago. The food may be a little more expensive that other dim sum places but the quality is more important, the wait staff is pleasant and attentive, and it's super clean...so go ahead and profile me

Jason Zentraedi
Jason Zentraedi

Mentioning race does not immediately make things racist.

Mohita Mohan
Mohita Mohan

It doesn't seem like a big deal. Just collecting demographic information. All businesses do this!

Jeanette Wah-Duffy
Jeanette Wah-Duffy

There are more places that do this than you would think. When we were in town, we stared at and probably talked about (I understand Cantonese) at a Chinese restaurant on Noriega (I am Chinese and my husband is Irish-Mexican -- we were there with our 2 teen-age kids).

Berto
Berto

Round eye get lupsup, hahahaha!  Charge extla too!

Darcy Villere
Darcy Villere

It makes a lot of sense. There's so many ways to target your customers in SF, as far as where you spend your marketing dollars, and with a 30% Asian population, this is the kind of stuff you want to know if you're a smart business owner.

Jonsey Balonsey
Jonsey Balonsey

What about people who are half asian and half something else? There's not button for that, now that's pure prejudice of hapa!

Eric Wong
Eric Wong

If an Asian person is actually caught dining here, their yelllow card shall be revoked immediately.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

So, no eruption regarding racial profiling by the radical left in San Francisco.  If a white restaurant had been doing this there would have been hell to pay.    Yank Sing also profiles by using a Chinese language menu as do other Chinese restaurants.  And those are items not available to other races, as most non-Chinese don't speak Chinese.  

Jonas Heineman
Jonas Heineman

If they wanted to make it useful for waiters, it would have had a "German" button.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

@Jason Zentraedi Only when non-whites do it.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

@Mohita Mohan Like when the police collect demographic information on black criminals.

topjobsman
topjobsman topcommenter

@Federale You seem to misunderstand the concept of racial profiling. Racial profiling means you apply a racial profile to someone. In this case, Yank Sing is only recording who appears Asian and who does not.

BTW, have you ever wondered why non-Asian restaurants only have English menus? By your thinking, those restaurants are "profiling" and ignoring all other languages and their ethnic groups. You should speak up the next time you go to one of those restaurants.

nandrega
nandrega

@Federale I just looked at your previous comments. Are you a professional troll?

none
none

@Federale " the options don't lead to any sort of discount, extras, or priority seating."

 That is much different from the racial profiling done to pick out who gets an SSSS on their plane tickets, extra inspection at DHS checkpoints, being asked for papers etc.


topjobsman
topjobsman topcommenter

@Deven Thompson Yes, it may be difficult for some people to know that others see them as non-Asian.

Federale
Federale topcommenter

@topjobsman @Federale That sounds like a person who avoids someone who appears to look like Trayvon Martin.  You leftists don't object to racial profiling but to profiling that is done by whites.  You like profiling by non-whites.

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