Skip to comments.Restaurant bans tips; pays servers salary, benefits
Posted on 06/11/2013 8:52:13 AM PDT by JoeProBono
Sushi Yasuda in New York City has maintained an excellent reputation for more than a decade, and now the restaurant is making headlines for banning tips.
All the restaurant's servers are now on salary with paid vacation and sick leave.
The high-end restaurant only seats 45 guests and the chefs menu can cost more than $100, so the owners aren't worried about raising prices to make up for lack of tips.
But customers have been confused since the policy went into effect earlier this year. Managers put a note in both the menu and receipt explaining the no-tipping policy, but some diners continued to write a tip on their receipts even though there was no tip line.
The restaurant eventually started circling the explanation on the receipt in red to draw the customers attention.
"Theyd look up at dinner partner or partners and say, 'Theres no tipping'" said co-founder Scott Rosenberg. "[There's] a moment of, 'Wait a minute, what?' and then, 'OK, that sounds good.'"
Rosenberg said the approach was meant to be more like traditional Japanese fine dining, where tippping isn't done. This way, the diner doesnt have to "think about how much to leave and make calculations [after] a contemplative and special meal," he said.
Daisy Chung, executive director for Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, which supports restaurant workers, said she thought the practice of banning tips to provide a salary with benefits was a "good idea," noting that even inclement weather can reduce tipped income no matter how good the service.
"We definitely feel there shouldnt be a separate system where tip workers rely on tips to subsidize their wages," Chung said. "Workers should be fully compensated."
No tipping is the norm in Japan. Even at family Denny’s type restaurants. Yeah, the food is a bit more expensive (as is everything else), but calculated as a percentage of take-home pay or hours of labor, it is remarkably similar in price.
until the servers realize they can slack and get the same pay...
Doubt they’re unionized. Slack off and you’ll be outta there.
I worked at a country club for 10 years where no one left tips because a 15% gratuity was added to all bills. That 15% was split between all waiters/waitresses, bartenders, barbacks. etc. By the time they got done with it it was split between 20 people so we got crapola in tips added to our checks.
The only thing that kept me alive was banquets, lots and lots of banquets where I made excellent money in cash tips. If I couldn’t have worked them I would have quit.
Why do I have to be Mr. Pink?
Because you’re a fa&&ot, okay?
Because multiplying a number by 0.15 or 0.20 will just destroy the serene feeling I have after a contemplative meal.
On the other hand the heartburn I had from dropping $100 on dinner for one person would probably kill any chance I had on contemplation.
This is true, and I would add that, particularly in the Kansai region (Osaka area), tipping is considered offensive, because it implies that the restauranteurs would not be providing good service otherwise. OTOH, restaurants there are generally more expensive than in the US, even with the recent dollar/yen reset, with the exception of the "family" restaurants like Denny's and Saizeri-ya, which cost about the same in Japan as in the US.
I feel for the little people on the bottom end of the scale. A favorite trick of mine is to leave very little as a tip on the credit card (usually rounding up to the nearest dollar) and an actual cash tip on the table.
But I think the better solution is to do what they do in Japan: Pay their people a decent wage and not expect the customers to subidize management which they are already paying for the meal. If it means an increase in the price of the meal, then so be it.
They will probably spend more now that tipping isn’t an issue. That’s 20% food bill budget.
Worked at a car detail shop where everyone split the tips. After a while, communism mentality set in. If someone gets the same amount no matter what, why do your best.
If you do that, make sure the server gets it and not the busboy.
But I normally don't tip.
One of my favorite restaurants was Yoshinoya where everyone sat around a central food preparation area. You in essence got restaurant style service for fast food prices. Don't know about now, but it was then considered sort of a hang-out for construction workers and the blue collar crowd.
Their beef bowls, however, were very, very good and I'd often take one of my daughters with me. As you might imagine, my choice of dining companions ensured excellent service as well.
I wouldn’t pay anything close to $100 for *anything* on *any* menu in *any* restaurant...even if I was worth a billion dollars.I once paid about $40 for a piece of steak at a restaurant (Ruth Chris?) and it was excellent.But Outback make a sirloin almost as good for less than half that.
You’re missing out on some good meals. Food at high end, Michelin starred restaurants is completely out of this world.
I tend to agree with you in lower end dining. A steak at Ruth Chris is only marginally better than a steak at Outback. But the comparison doesn’t work when you’re comparing Outback to the French Laundry.
Unlike some...including you,it seems...food isn't particularly important to me.At least not important enough to compel me to pay more than $15-$20 for an entrée.To me a juicy piece of sirloin...or prime rib....some broccoli and a baked potato is heaven.And a piece of chocolate cake for desert.About $30 at Outback...maybe $60 at Ruth Chris.Perhaps my disinterest in really high end eating is the result of my parents' working class upbringing,which was displayed nightly on our dinner table when I was a kid. ;-)
I let people choose their names once, everybody wanted to be Mr. Black.
I would argue that without the tip system there is no direct incentive for good or great service.
The waiter can make the meal and environment spectacular or the evening can be an epic fail.
Without the tipping system they get no direct feedback as to what their customers expect.
They also ensure I will never darken their door again. “Automatic gratuities” are just a way to jack up the bill without being honest enough to raise prices.
Amen to post #23 and #26.
I tended bar part time for a number of years at a Japanese owned country club at which very little cash changed hands because most members signed their house charges and wrote on a tip. Almost all of them tipped quite well. Some of the guys coming in after a round of golf would pay cash for drinks or pitchers of beer, probably so they wouldn't get flack from the missus about their bar bill. But most signed their charges and tipped on them.
When about to open after the winter closure one year, we were called to a meeting. We were told that everyone would be getting a big raise in wages, but now a 17% service charge would be added to the checks and members would be instructed not to tip. I checked my prior year's tip log and realized that I would be making about one third less than before.
The members assumed the 17% went to the individuals who had served them, when in fact it went to the house. When I began to inform the members that was the case, some of them started to pay cash for their bar bills. Long story short, I became a troublemaker in management's eyes, and was eventually terminated when they discovered that I had written out the tip situation and posted it at the bar in place of the NO TIPPING signs.
I’m now starting to see “discounts” where you can get a $50 or $100 dining gift card/coupon purchased at a reduced rate. Then you read the fine print and learn you are required to tip $20 on that meal before it has even been served.
So much for “discounts”. It’s just kicking the can forward is all it does.
Our beautiful blonde 19 year old granddaughter works Fri, Sat, and Sun for a total of about 22 hours at a Houston area Sports Bar/Restaurant. She makes between $400-$500 a weekend while going to college fulltime during the week.
That works out to be around $20/hour. If she lost her tips she’d probably go somewhere else. I doubt any place is going to pay her $20/hour with no tips.
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