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One New York City Restaurant Eliminates Tipping In Favor of Paying Servers a Salary with Benefits

Sushi Yasuda
The Price Hike

Tipping…one of the most stressful aspects of going out to dinner. Some people don’t tip at all, but most do and want to leave a fair tip, which can be challenging depending on the diner’s experience at the restaurant. Well, one sushi restaurant in New York City has eliminated that stress by eliminating tipping altogether. The owners of Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan say they did it because that is how it is done in Japan. Sushi Yasuda servers get paid a salary and have full benefits. As you would expect, they are charging a little more on the menu, but that is fine with the patrons and business has not slowed down at all.

The customers are essentially paying the same even with the increased cost of the menu. Customers still try and leave a tip even though the tip line is no longer on the receipts and tips are forbidden.

This has long been the practice in a lot of European countries where staff is paid a living wage. My wife and I are good tippers and generally never tip less than 20 percent, but others barely tip at all, which puts the servers in a position of never knowing what they are going to make.

I firmly believe in tipping and giving the server a little extra for a job well done, but a lot of that is because of what most servers get paid…somewhere around $2.10 per hour seems to be the norm. If servers are being provided with a good salary and access to benefits, I think it’s about time.

Apparently a lot of regular customers of Sushi Yasuda are having a difficult time getting used to it, but the servers are much happier than their tip-dependent associates at other restaurants.

It will be interesting to see if this will be the beginning of a trend. Truth be told, I hope so. Too many servers can barely get by and even fewer have any real benefits to speak of. In case you’re wondering, the servers at Sushi Yasuda love it and can actually support their families on that income alone.


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