Can’t Finish Your Meal? This Japanese Restaurant Will Fine You for That

In this restaurant, everyone cleans their plates

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Gold Rush

A bowl of "tsukko meshi" at Hachikyo restaurant in Sapporo, Japan

In this restaurant, everyone cleans their plates.

An eatery in Sapporo, Japan, has announced it will fine restaurant patrons if they don’t finish every last morsel — every tiny grain of rice — on their plate. The Hachikyo seafood restaurant is known for its tsukko meshi, a dish of salmon roe piled sky-high on a bed of rice — for anyone who can finish it.

(MORE: Japanese Restaurant Serves Meal of Dirt — for $110)

Though the fine may seem ridiculous for a dish that costs about $20, there’s a reason for the surcharge. As Midori Yokoyama, a Japanese blogger, wrote after a visit to the eatery:

According to the explanation in the menu, the working conditions for fishermen are harsh and so dangerous that it’s not unknown for lives to be lost. To show our gratitude and appreciation for the food they provide, it is forbidden to leave even one grain of rice in your bowl. Customers who do not finish their tsukko meshi must give a donation.

Which, given the circumstances, might be even kind of justified. Although the restaurant has another rule up its sleeve: patrons aren’t allowed to touch their rice until the salmon roe is dished out. And Hachikyo’s owner is known to have a penchant for sending his waitstaff to work on a fishing boat just so they can understand the harsh realities of being a fisherman.

(MORE: Lamenting the Decline of the Home-Cooked Meal in Japan)

Fortunately, according to one waitress at the restaurant, “hardly anyone leaves their tsukko meshi unfinished” — mostly because it’s delicious.

138 comments
Terry Wells
Terry Wells

I would definitely be fined for not finishing my food here...

andyknj33
andyknj33

“@TIME: Japanese restaurant fines customers for not finishing their meals | http://t.co/1pWWkgYG (via @TIMENewsFeed)”good idea for ref's.

Perlita Beauford
Perlita Beauford

Not something new. Been to a few restaurants with this measure in place. Makes you food waste aware. We are really bad about this in USA.

jenjenk
jenjenk

@MyLastBite that's a good point. i can remember the number of meals I choked down as child because my mom would threaten my life.

aprets
aprets

@SpicyQwin but but no one is not going to finish that, it is delicious :-9 @TIME @TIMENewsFeed

tourguidesni
tourguidesni

@BBC_Travel #bbcinbrief So avoid Yending up with a bigger bill...

NikkkiKelly
NikkkiKelly

@TIME @timenewsfeed I think that's a good idea. Waste is a big part of Americas problems & our portion sizes are too large as it is.

igetitwrite
igetitwrite

@TIME SAY WHAT NOW? So you pay for the meal and a fine if you leave some on the plate or want to take it home? #noway

MrsPoonamRaut
MrsPoonamRaut

@TIME very good! When THIS law will implement in OUR INDIA??

Mayumi Yamamoto
Mayumi Yamamoto

はちきょうのつっこめし…恐るべし…!!一度拝んでみたいです。

ChrissyNYC9
ChrissyNYC9

@TIME @timenewsfeed mixed feelings about this shows that ppl shouldn't take workers & their work for granted, @ da same time #Japan #obesity

Godi Inson
Godi Inson

eat all u can..! old stuff.. take ol u can..!better initiative for marketers.. wahaha

TalkingBallsGAA
TalkingBallsGAA

@alanswan children should eat til they’re no longer hungry instead of being forced fed like a foie gras goose. #CleanYourPlate #OrElse

mampras
mampras

@TIME @TIMENewsFeed - it is done in Germany as well. It doesn't matter whether you paid for d meal or not. You have no right to waste food

mduffywriter
mduffywriter

@alanswan That's hilarious! I'm gagging just looking at that stuff - I think I'd better stay clear!

THaojie
THaojie

“@TIME: Japanese restaurant fines customers for not finishing their meals | http://t.co/fCjpwRtN (via @TIMENewsFeed)” 食い切れなかったら罰金か

Ikit Lunzaga
Ikit Lunzaga

i think it's sensible considering there are millions of hungry people.

Jason Tchaï
Jason Tchaï

Hmmm? This isnt something new. Lots have applied this rule since a long time ago

ashmoof
ashmoof

I want to go here xD “@TIME: Japanese restaurant fines customers for not finishing their meals | http://t.co/UrlWuiX4 (via @TIMENewsFeed)”

DjCliveDSA
DjCliveDSA

@ShubnumKhan And what if a person is full then what? Aren't there any doggy bags perhaps instead of the fine?

Wuluwoof
Wuluwoof

“@TIME: Japanese restaurant fines customers for not finishing their meals | http://t.co/DzBaA0Xr (via @TIMENewsFeed)” That will teach them!

Saberah
Saberah

@shubnumkhan @time @timenewsfeed and a doggybag? Even for that last grain of rice!

jaunetom
jaunetom

@mihai_stegerean nu e chiar noua ideea. carciumile chinezesti all-you-can-eat de prin centrul londrei fac la fel

amandafclark
amandafclark

@TIME @TIMENewsFeed my local Buffett has been doing that for years

MyLastBite
MyLastBite

@jenjenk Me too! Our family dachshund got so fat from me sneaking him food under the table!

ShubnumKhan
ShubnumKhan

@DjCliveDSA perhaps it forces people to take a doggy bag.

DjCliveDSA
DjCliveDSA

@ShubnumKhan wow how much is the fine by the way and is the restaurant here in SA?if so where?

jaunetom
jaunetom

@mihai_stegerean da, mai amenintator :))