This very nice article covers “…a line of people wrapped around the block outside a newly opened restaurant”:
…Surkus, an emerging app that allowed the restaurant to quickly manufacture its ideal crowd and pay the people to stand in place like extras on a movie set. They’ve even been hand-picked by a casting agent of sorts, an algorithmic one that selects each person according to age, location, style and Facebook “likes.”
They may look excited, but that could also be part of the production. Acting disengaged while they idle in line could tarnish their “reputation score,” an identifier that influences whether they’ll be “cast” again. Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid — their movements are being tracked with geolocation.
Here is the WaPo Peter Holley piece, interesting throughout. Note that women are often paid more than men, and comedians are starting to use it to fill seats in the nightclub.