Do you ever look at the check after a nice dinner and wonder how much of a tip to leave? Is the standard gratuity 18 percent or is it now 20 percent? If this is your post-dinner scenario then perhaps a visit to New York City's Sushi Yasuda is in order. The restaurant has banned tips; yes, it actually prohibits its diners from leaving gratuity because the wait staff receives a full salary.

Owners of the boutique sushi restaurant, which only seats 45 diners, raised prices to cover the extra costs of providing servers a full salary, paid vacation and sick leave. This isn't a typical benefits package for servers, who usually earn an hourly rate that is substantially less than the standard minimum wage. Tips often make up the difference and in a high-end restaurant like Sushi Yasuda, the tips can be great; but on slow days, it doesn't matter how well customers tip.

You know what else is great? Being able to budget based on a fixed salary. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for a waiter to map out his monthly budget based on a fluctuating income. I imagine that peace of mind is an added benefit of the move to salaries from an hourly pay rate plus gratuity.

Daisy Chung, executive director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, shared her thoughts on the move to salaries with ABC News, "It started a good conversation about tips and restaurant compensation," Chung said, adding that inclement weather, for instance, is something that deters diners and thereby limits tips no matter how good the service. "We definitely feel there shouldn't be a separate system where tip workers rely on tips to subsidize their wages," Chung said. "Workers should be fully compensated."

The move has presented somewhat of a challenge to Sushi Yasuda customers, though. ABC News reported that despite the "no tips" messages, some customers still tried to write in a tip. I know that I'd have to look twice if I saw a message that said, "no tipping." I'd probably ask the server about the policy because I'd hate to misinterpret a message like that and stiff my server.

What do you think; is the move to salaries good for the serving industry?

via [ABC News]

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