A Japanese company has launched an effort to introduce tipping culture across Japan to motivate employees and help restaurants that suffered losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tip Project is a new Japanese enterprise backed by several Japanese celebrities, including best-selling author Takafumi Horie, comedian Akihiro Nishino and YouTube personality Yoshihito Kamogashira, reported Kotaku
- The new venture, which claims to help staff and industries hit by the pandemic, aims to introduce tipping culture across Japan, a country well-known for not taking tips from customers, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.
- A video released by the company shows a dramatization of the benefits tipping culture would bring to the country.
- The clip starts with a small restaurant employee who has lost all motivation to work. But this all changes after a female customer, whom he helped by giving her a blanket when she was cold, gives him a tip upon leaving.
- Although tipping is not considered part of Japanese culture, a cab company in Tokyo has given passengers the option to tip their drivers if they want to, SoraNews24 reported in July.
Public reception: The proposal was not well-received among social media users, based on the translation of comments reported by Kotaku.
- “I’m glad Japan doesn’t have this culture. I don’t want this pain-in-the-ass tradition,” one user wrote.
- “If people want to pay [a tip], that’s fine, but why are these unrelated folks [at the Tip Project] getting in the middle of that?” another user said.
- “This doesn’t suit Japan,” another user wrote.
There is a catch, though: While tipping in other countries often involves customers leaving their tips on the table for waiters or servers to pick up later, Tip Project plans to introduce an alternative that, if successful, would turn a profit for the company.
- Tip Project wants to sell “Premium Japan Tip” tickets to restaurants and other establishments, which customers can later fill out with their name, their server’s name and the desired amount of tip. The project’s website reportedly listed 10 restaurants that have already implemented this optional system.