American eaters, unlike their Europe counterparts, are long accustomed to voluntarily adding 18-20% to any dinner bill to compensate the wait staff for their services. But one New York City restaurant has put an end to that. The critically-acclaimed Sushi Yasuda, a 14-year old Japanese restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, eliminated tipping last month and raised its menu prices to reflect that development, owner Scott Rosenberg tells The Price Hike.
Here’s what guests now see on menus and receipts:
- “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted. Thank you.”
Rosenberg suggests Yasuda might be the only U.S. restaurant with such a policy. He might be right. (Update: Turns out there’s at least one more.)*. A variety of ambitious American eateries like Alinea, Next, Atera and Brooklyn Fare already add automatic service charges as part of their pre-paid dining systems. But Yasuda’s move is closer to the European-style system adopted by Thomas Keller’s Per Se in 2005, where all prices are reflective of service, a policy Keller implemented to help correct the income disparity between cooks and wait staff, per this New York Times piece.