The topic of tipping when dining out is, without question, one of the most strangely debated. Everyone seems to have their personalized way of doing it. For instance, my husband is someone who almost always defaults to 20 percent (at least), because he just happens to be outrageously generous and upstanding. On the other hand, I'm more commonly influenced by the level of service. But throw service charges and built in 18 percent gratituties into the mix, and someone's most straightforward, consistent tipping habits can go haywire. I'm wondering how people are going to react to the new policy at a restaurant in Manhattan.
Sushi Yasuda has begun explaining to customers that "following the custom in Japan ... service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted." Instead of leaving a tip, customers are expected to simply pay a higher all-around bill, which includes a service fee. And if you try to tip, they'll give it back to you!
Innnnteresting. As long as servers really are being "fully compensated," this definitely makes sense. Although they're in hospitality, they're getting paid like they would in any other industry that has nothing to do with tipping. So it's all good. But when tipping is a part of the payment equation, I feel like restaurants need to do the opposite of what's being done at this Japanese restaurant. In other words, tacking that 18 percent on -- or sort of like they're doing at Sushi Yasuda, build it into the menu prices and give servers a cut of every bill, however they want to handle it.
More from The Stir: Holier-Than-Thou Pastor Refuses to Tip Waitress & Then Gets Her Fired
When one of my good friends in high school got her first waitressing job, I couldn't understand how it could be LEGAL for her to make something like $2.00 an hour "plus tips." What if she didn't get tips because people were cheap, tourists who didn't understand how much American servers rely on tips, forgetful, or just plain rude? Then what?
Hence why restaurant employers have to look out for their employees, whether it's by paying them a fair wage (and benefits wouldn't be too shabby either -- Sushi Yasuda says that's part of their package) to begin with or building in a tip in an area where clientele may not be consistently adept with tipping. As long as those are the choices, I can totally see the case for taking away the privilege or requirement -- however you want to see it -- of the customer to choose their own tip.
Would you prefer to dine at a place like this restaurant? How do you feel about getting a bill where the gratuity is already added?