No Tipping Policy

A midtown Manhattan restaurant called Sushi Yasuda no longer accepts tips. They claim this gives the dining experience a more authentic and relaxed feeling to mimic restaurants in Japan. Customers can enjoy their food and don’t have to do math and calculations at the end of the their meal. Instead of gratuity, the co-owner explains that they have increased the price of the items on their menu by 15%, essentially building the cost into the food which allows them to pay their waitstaff a higher salary than other restaurants do. panda_restaurant_spoof_when_food_bill_comes_expensive_surprised, tips

When patrons receive their final bill, it reads near the bottom “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted.” The waitstaff gets paid a salary from day one and even receive a generous benefits package including vacation and paid sick days, which is apparently pretty rare in the food services industry 😀 Reducing the reliance on tips to provide the employees with a living wage is common practice not just in Japan, but in other parts of the world as well. However would restaurants lose business if they add a price premium to their food? The final amount that the customer pays shouldn’t change but maybe it’s a psychological thing. I’ve never worked in a restaurant before so if I were a waiter I’m not sure if I would prefer this compensation method or the traditional North American way of tipping. I’ve heard that in Europe they round up to the nearest Euro. I think every culture is different 🙂

Here are what some people on the internet had to say about the story:

“Concerning compensation in Japan, serving is considered respectable employment and deserving of fair compensation. The issue is not with the tipping, but with the social attitudes around the service industry in North America.” 

“As a former server I applaud this. If the service sector were uniformly unionized, all servers would have this kind of stability.”

“What if the service sucks? I like having the choice to pay more for attentive waiters and less for a poor service.”

“This is how every restaurant in NZ is…I love it! It frees up waiters to attend to ANY table – not just the ones in their section”

Random Useless Fact: According to some studies, boys on average are more expensive to raise than girls.



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Debt Blag
06/13/2013 8:40 am

I know these aren’t your comments, but I feel like getting into an argument with nobody 🙂

Regarding this: “Concerning compensation in Japan, serving is considered respectable employment and deserving of fair compensation. The issue is not with the tipping, but with the social attitudes around the service industry in North America.” Maybe, but to what extent has our tipping system *contributed* to this attitude? Anyone that forces me to do math and makes my food more expensive than what’s printed on the menu might lose some respect in my eyes, regardless of what they did for a living.

Regarding this: “What if the service sucks? I like having the choice to pay more for attentive waiters and less for a poor service.” Why is it only with food? Do you not pay your cable bill in full because service sucked this month?

06/13/2013 9:04 am

I like the concept because tipping has gotten way out hand in the U.S. Everyone has their hand out whether deserve it or not.

Debt Blag
06/14/2013 8:01 am
Reply to  krantcents

To be fair, they have their hand out because their employer expects them to get tipped and thus lowers their wage accordingly.

Jordann @ My Alternate Life
06/13/2013 10:18 am

I love this idea! Better for the customers (no worrying and calculating), better for the employees.

06/13/2013 10:26 am

I wish all restaurants did this! It is a good idea.

Alex Yang (@yyangalex)
06/13/2013 10:29 am

i think i tend to agree that restaurants would lose business by tacking the premium onto their food prices. even if the end price is the same, the price on the menu is what will stick in customers memories. additionally, lower menu prices drive higher actual spending. even though menu A (tip after) and menu B’s (tip included) final price is the same, if menu A is lower, consumers will be more likely to spend more when dining there.

alternatively just move to Markham. food is cheap, and you dont have to tip much, b/c they’re all asian places, and ppl that work there dont even expect you to tip, like how it is in China lol. if standard tip in western place is 15%, the standard tip in asian place is under 10%

John S @ Frugal Rules
John S @ Frugal Rules
06/13/2013 10:34 am

Very interesting concept and if it can result in better pay for servers then that is a good thing in my opinion. On a different note, is it really that difficult to figure out 15 or 20% of a bill? 😉

Financial Underdog
Financial Underdog
06/13/2013 7:07 pm

I’d be just fine with this policy. If you know your waitress is fairly compensated, you don’t feel guilty about not tipping enough.

I despise tips in general. Even though I get tipped on my services, it still feels somewhat wrong.

06/13/2013 9:17 pm

I like this idea. I don’t see why a restaurant’s employees have to rely on the goodwill of customers in order to make a living wage.

ND Chic
ND Chic
06/14/2013 5:50 am

As a former server, I like the concept. Some people don’t tip right no matter how good the service and this would alleviate the issue.

06/14/2013 9:02 am

Horrible, horrible, horrible, just takes away incentive for people in the service industry to give you great service to get a better tip. I live 2 minutes away from a casino on the Canadian side of the border and 5 minutes away from a casino on the American side of the border. the American dealers get to keep their own tips and the Canadian dealers have to split their tips between all the dealers. What a HUGE difference in service between the two !!! Ask around, a large of number of workers on the Canadian side will bluntly tell you there is no point in giving that extra great service because they don’t get to keep the tip. A dealer friend of mine told me to go out of his way to get an extra $10 tip would result in less than $0.01 going in his pocket. Same thing goes for the restaurants in the casino, if you want mediocre service, go somewhere where the employes tips are capped no matter what they do or are all split up between employees. On a side note, went to a restaurant last week where our bill was $74.55, left $100 for the… Read more »

mochimac @ save. spend. splurge.
06/14/2013 10:12 am

I am on the fence on this one. I like the idea of a living wage, but I am also a fan of people getting paid when they do the job right.

I’ve had some seriously bad waiters in my life. SERIOUSLY BAD. So bad, I left no tip at all they were so awful.

Then I’ve had awesome waiters. So awesome, I left 30%.

But that’s 1% in all my times of eating out (in those extremes) so… maybe I could just suck it up? Hard to say.

06/14/2013 10:57 am

I know a few servers who hate this idea. Of course they work in high end restaurants so they don’t get stiffed very often. They enjoy getting their cash tips since they don’t report it all to the IRS (even though they are supposed to).

Personally I am fine either way, I would just like it to be uniform so I don’t accidentally forget to tip someone when I should. Besides if you thought the service was great beyond what the bill said you can always leave them a little something extra.

Searching for Happy
Searching for Happy
06/14/2013 6:43 pm

I see some strong logic in this. With better pay and benefits, the restaurant can likely attract and keep the better caliber of servers!

06/18/2013 3:01 pm

Freakonomics did just a podcast on tipping here:

Apparently there’s a restaurant in California that rejects tips as well!

Agent Fang
06/18/2013 10:45 pm

I pay for the food. Most waiters just take your order and bring out your food. Its pretty standard service and ask how is your food. Most of the time you are left alone to eat your food… Its like any job. Why do I need to give extra money out of own pocket to fill the waiters pocket. How come people don’t tip at fast food restaurant? Tipping is over rated. Waiters make more than what you think in a night. Thanks to all you generous tippers.