Restaurant Asks Patrons Not to Tip Waiters

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A New York sushi restaurant pays its waitstaff a salary — with benefits — and tells customers that tips are not allowed. Should other restaurants follow suit?

The minimum wage for waitstaff has been stuck at $2.13 for 22 years.

In theory, employers are required to make up the difference between that and the non-tipped minimum wage ($7.25 unless states specify a higher one) if their tips don’t do it. But that doesn’t always happen.

Sushi Yasuda in Manhattan makes sure waitstaff are properly compensated, The New York Times says. It pays salaries and benefits to staffers and doesn’t permit them to receive tips.

In the past, the restaurant didn’t encourage tips but allowed people to give them, the Times says. But that money didn’t go to workers; it went to the restaurant.

Now the restaurant has a no-tipping policy, laid out on menus and receipts. It says: “Following the custom in Japan, Sushi Yasuda’s service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted. Thank you.” (Gawker posted a photo of one receipt.) The receipts don’t even have a designated space for tips.

When the upscale restaurant banned tips, it also raised prices by 15 percent.

Meanwhile, the ban confuses customers, some of whom leave a tip on the table anyway.

What do you think? Is this fair to customers and employees? Would you be more likely to dine at a restaurant that marked prices up 15 percent if you knew they were treating employees well? Many people tip more than 15 percent anyway, right?

Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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