People are buzzing about a restaurant that fines customers if they don't finish their entire meal. The restaurant is called Hachikyo and it is located in Sapporo, Japan. As Gawker shared on Feb. 14, anybody who does not completely finish the restaurant's signature dish faces a surcharge of about $20.
While this may seem like a harsh policy, the reasoning behind it is intriguing. Apparently the dish in question is a bowl of rice topped with all-you-can-eat salmon roe. The restaurant fines customers who do not finish every morsel because they say the fishermen work through extremely harsh conditions to harvest the roe. The fines, or surcharges, paid by the customers who do not finish the tsukko meshi dish are then given back to the fishermen.
It seems the restaurant is doing so well that it may be opening a second location this spring in Tokyo. One waitress told a blogger at Gold Rush that it is rare for anyone to face the surcharge, as almost everybody finishes the meal. Based on the commenters on the Gawker site, this policy where a restaurant fines customers for leaving food unfinished is not unique to Hachikyo, as they have seen similar policies in place in other restaurants in Japan, or even some Chinese food restaurants in the U.S.
This concept hasn't seemed to have spread widely elsewhere, but it would sure be a shocker for diners in the U.S. Some think a restaurant fining customers for not finishing their meal is an interesting concept for an all-you-can eat style meal, however, so perhaps this will become more common.