Japanese Sushi Restaurant in NYC Bans Tipping

The World

Sushi chefs at work. (Photo: Sushi Yasuda)

There's plenty to like about the growing popularity of Japanese sushi.

In New York City for example, there are hundreds of places with sashimi, sushi, and grilled fish on the menu.

Some restaurants go to great lengths to create a Japanese cultural setting. The sushi chefs bow to you, the Nori seaweed is freshly harvested off the coast of Japan, there are low wooden tables, and Japanese flowers.

There's one sushi restaurant in New York City that's raising eyebrows. Something's missing at Sushi Yasuda and it's quite noticeable to customers.

There's plenty of wasabi and pickled ginger, and enough sake and grilled fish to go around.

But something is missing. And the restaurant says it's strictly following a Japanese custom.

Can you put your finger on it?

The answer is: tipping has been banned. When you get the bill after your meal it says, "Following the custom in Japan Sushi Yasuda's service staff are fully compensated by their salary. Therefore gratuities are not accepted."

Professor Merry White teaches about Japanese culture and history at Boston University. Sure enough, she says tips are really nowhere to be found in Japanese restaurants. In Japan, it's customary NOT to tip.

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