Ootoya, the stylish Japanese mini-chain with three New York locations (one of which is on the Eater 38), is the latest restaurant group to eliminate tipping. In a statement released today, representatives announce that all NYC Ootoya locations will get rid of tipping on March 28, because "ending tipping will ultimately translate to improved customer service by establishing other means of compensating servers and kitchen employees." They add that eschewing tipping "is also a common custom in Japan, where the Ootoya brand was born." Ootoya has more than 300 locations in Japan and 90 outside of Japan. It first opened in New York in 2012.
A small wave of restaurants — including Fedora, Annisa, Eleven Madison Park, Meadowsweet — have transitioned to the no tipping model ever since Danny Meyer made the much publicized move to eventually eliminate gratuities at all of his New York restaurants last fall.