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Marketplace

New York restaurant owner says tips not needed

Kai Ryssdal Jun 19, 2013
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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.

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