New York restaurant owner says tips not needed

Chef at Sushi Yasuda.

You go out to dinner. You fnish your meal, have good conversation and then the bill comes. 

You look down, and there’s no line for a tip. Sound crazy? Not if you eat at Sushi Yasuda in New York.

The restaurant argues that staff at the Japanese restaurant in Manhattan are paid a fair wage and don’t need tips to compensate for low pay; similar to the way it works in Japan. There is even a section on each receipt that explains that:

“Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted. Thank you.”

Sushi Yasuda co-owner Scott Rosenberg* said at first customers were perplexed by the no tipping policy, but after a while people got used to it.

“I think it helps that we’re a classical pure sushi restaurant and people are a little bit more open to suspend their own habits or traditions a little bit,” said Rosenberg.

No tipping means prices at Sushi Yasuda are about 15 percent than you expect. Rosenberg said that people who come to his restaurant expect to pay a little more and some even see no tipping as a plus.

“I saw three gentlemen as they read the notice.  One said I’m going to order 25 percent more sushi now. Another one said I’m going to come once more a month,” said Rosenberg.

* CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misidentified co-owner Scott Rosenberg's name and title.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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