Sushi Yasuda, a restaurant that has operated for over a decade in Manhattan, recently updated the fine print at the bottom of bills to read: “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.”
Instead, all employees at the restaurant receive a decent salary, vacation days, sick days, and a benefits package that includes health insurance.
“Your service staff— for those who want to pursue that as an ongoing career—they have stability. They become part of a family, and that’s special,” Sushi Yasuda co-founder Scott Rosenberg told The Price Hike. “You have to be all in if you’re a salaried professional. It also attracts people who are more serious about being a part of that craft and being a part of that journey”
Eliminating tips has not only benefited Sushi Yasuda’s staff, but customers as well. According to Rosenberg, customers feel relief from the pressures of tipping once the bill arrives.
“The diner doesn’t [have to] think about how much to leave and make calculations [after] a contemplative and special meal,” he said to ABC News. “We’re really sort of just staying connected to that classical approach [of fine Japanese dining].”
Japan isn’t the only country where restaurant tipping isn’t customary. Restaurant servers in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines don’t expect tips, and in many European countries, a service charge is often automatically included on the bill.
However, in North America, not only is tipping common practice—it’s expected. So will other restaurants in the U.S. and Canada follow Sushi Yasuda’s lead by eliminating tips and increasing staff wages and benefits?