Restaurant tip ban gets warm reception from NYC sushi diners

Posted at 7:12 AM, Jun 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-11 19:12:24-04

MANHATTAN (PIX11) – It’s the restaurant tip ban that has a lot of people talking. A midtown sushi restaurant is banning tips to improve your dining experience.

Sushi Yasuda, a Japanese eatery, banned gratuities and raised menu prices.

It’s a practice that’s used in European and Australian restaurants.

Restaurant Sushi

“The diner doesn’t [have to] think about how much to leave and make calculations [after] a contemplative and special meal,” co-founder Scott Rosenberg told ABC News. “We’re really sort of just staying connected to that classical approach [of fine Japanese dining].”

The owner also raised the wages for its employees. He says his employees do not need tips because they’re paid very well.

Sushi Place

The practice is also seen as a positive experiment for restaurant workers, according to Daisy Chung, executive director of Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, a nonprofit that supports workers.

“We definitely feel there shouldn’t be a separate system where tip workers rely on tips to subsidize their wages,” Chung said. “Workers should be fully compensated.”

Each receipt has the following message at the bottom: “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary.  Therefore gratuities are not accepted.”

The employee salaries and benefit packages are not just being paid for by generous or traditional owners, however, the sushi prices also rose slightly to cover costs.  The restaurant, which only seats 45, can easily run a diner more than $100 if they order the omakase, or chef’s menu.