Tags: restaurant | tip | ban | manhattan

Restaurant Tip Ban: Manhattan's Sushi Spot Follows Japan Custom

Tuesday, 11 Jun 2013 07:23 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A Midtown Manhattan restaurant is rethinking the way it compensates its wait staff and created a stir by banning tips for their service.

Sushi Yasuda told Ryan Sutton of The Price Hike that the 14-year-old restaurant eliminated tipping last month and raised its menu prices and pay for its staff. When a customer receives their check after a meal, they will find this note at the bottom:

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

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“I’ve always dreamed…wouldn’t it be great not to have to worry about tipping," owner Scott Rosenberg told The Price Hike. "Look at your bill, make sure that it’s correct and sign the check if you’re good, and you won’t have think and calculate and do a math equation at the table.”

Tips for wait staff can range wildly, but is typically 18 to 20 percent of any dinner meal. The Price Hike stated that pay for wait staff roughly starts at the tipped minimum of $2.25 per hour, lower than the non-tipped minimum of $7.25.

Rosenberg says Yasuda’s staff is salaried and won’t be affected by the change, as the restaurant previously absorbed the day-to-day fluctuations from tips. Yasuda’s staff receive vacation and paid sick leave.

"Your service staff, for those who want to pursue that as an ongoing career, they have stability, they become part of a family and that’s special," Rosenberg said. "You have to be all in if you’re a salaried professional. It also attracts people who are more serious about being a part of that craft and being a part of that journey.”

Sushi Yasuda, rated "three stars" by the New York Times, was already held in high in high esteem by customers and critics alike.

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"Anything with the potential to divert attention from the food itself has been minimized or eliminated. The effect is to be transported to a calm sanctuary where one may experience sushi artistically, pleasurably and, dare I say, spiritually," Eric Asimov said in 2011 review.

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