If you've ever been to a restaurant or a bar and were confused about how much to tip your waiter, there might be good news for you.
The owner of Sushi Yasuda, a Japanese restaurant in New York, has banned customers from tipping its waiters. Instead, the prices of menu items have been increased by roughly 15 percent.
Sushi Yasuda is not alone in this practice and a number of restaurants in the United States have implemented a similar policy.
The practice of tipping is bizarre because it is not required by law, but it is an unspoken rule that has become normal behavior. However, this is not the case in some parts of the world. In China, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil, it is not expected of you to leave a tip. In addition, in Europe and the rest of the world, tipping rates are typically lower than in the United States. This chart from lifehacker.com gives a helpful breakdown of tipping etiquettes from around the world.
The question that still remains is, should you stop tipping?
According to Jay Porter, a former owner of Linkery Restaurent in San Diego, the answer is yes. After running a restaurant without tips for six years, Porter argues that it increased the quality of service at his eatery.
“If you don’t have to think about money, you can focus on doing your job well,” Porter writes in an article published by Slate.
The idea is that waiters and waitresses will perform their jobs better if they are guaranteed the tips that help them make ends meet, but it has the added benefit of removing the mess of leaving a tip at the end of meals, resulting in a more pleasant dining experience for customers.
The removal of tipping can help businesses avoid legal complications with their employees as well. Most notably, Starbucks recently had to cough up $14 million to their workers after violating state laws that prohibited supervisors from receiving a cut of the tip jar.
While this seems like a win-win situation for businesses and customers, restaurants are not lining up to ditch their tipping policies just yet.
Customers and employers believe that tipping is a reliable way of keeping workers accountable and that removing the policy can lead to poor service. In addition, servers are against banning tips as well, as many believe that the potential to earn money through tips is higher than a flat-rate salary.
Although no-tipping policies could become a growing trend for restaurants, there is still a long way to go before we can talk about the total abolishment of the practice here in the United States. The biggest obstacle will be overcoming the mentality of consumers thinking that they have to leave money at the end of their meals.