Are You Supposed to Tip Hibachi Chef? (Answered)

By John Goldsmith •  Updated: 03/17/22 •  6 min read

At Japanese hibachi restaurants, the chef cooks in front of you and entertains you with his cooking skills.

The chef will prepare, cook and serve up to eight people sitting around the hibachi grill.

Extremely impressive skills are used to create a memorable experience, and you are often left wondering if you should tip the chef.

The short answer is no because the waiter shares the tips with the chef. However, if you really enjoyed the show, you might want to leave a little extra for the chef.

Most hibachi restaurants include the tip in the bill, so there is no need to worry about it.

Either way, you are sure to enjoy your meal at a hibachi restaurant!

Are You Supposed to Tip Hibachi Chef

Are You Supposed to Tip Hibachi Chef?

The answer is yes, you should tip the chef.

While there is no set amount that you should tip, a good rule of thumb is to give the chef 10-15% of the bill. Or $5-10 per person.

If there are two of you then $10 dollars is great, if you tip for the whole grill table then $40 dollars is good.

Just make sure to leave your tip before you leave the restaurant.

Some places might have a jar on the table where you can place your tips, while others will bring the bill to your table with the gratuity added.

Either way, make sure to take care of your Hibachi chef!

This will show your appreciation for the fantastic meal that he just whipped up for you!

How Much Does a Hibachi Chef Make?

The average annual salary for a Hibachi Chef in the United States is $39,215 a year.

It converts to about that.$18.85 an hour. This is the equivalent of $754/week or $3,268/month.

However, this number will differ based on experience, location, and the size of the restaurant.

At a smaller restaurant, the chef might only make $30,000 a year while at a large chain like Benihana, the chef can make upwards of $70,000.

In addition to their salary, many Hibachi chefs also receive tips from customers.

While it is not required to tip the chef, many people do it as a way to show their appreciation for the meal and the experience.

Do You Tip the Chef at Benihana?

You should start with a standard 20% and add more if they have been particularly entertaining and/or the food was especially tasty. Also, you should consider tipping a bit more as the chefs usually have to share their tips with the waitstaff.

For a group of 8 people, you should expect to tip around $40.

This is just a general guideline, so if you had an exceptionally good time or the chef went above and beyond, feel free to increase the amount.

At Benihana, the standard gratuity is 18%, but you are more than welcome to leave a larger tip if you enjoyed your meal and the experience.

Some people like to leave their tips in cash, while others will add it to their credit card bills.

Either way is perfectly fine, so do whatever makes you more comfortable.

What Happens If You Don’t Tip the Chef?

At a hibachi grill, you will be paying your waiter when the bill comes and the chef will be included in that.

The tips are usually pooled together and then split between the staff, so if you don’t tip the chef he or she will likely not get anything.

On the other hand, if your experience was exceptional then it is always a nice gesture to leave a little extra for the chef.

You can hand a cash tip directly to the chef, or if you’d prefer to leave it on the table you can ask your waiter to do so.

Either way, your tip will make sure the chef knows that you appreciate their hard work!

What Does a Hibachi Chef Do?

A hibachi chef is responsible for cooking food on a hibachi grill.

They must be able to prepare the food quickly and efficiently while also keeping it cooked evenly.

Hibachi chefs must also be skilled in performing tricks and putting on a show for their guests.

This includes flipping knives, catching shrimp in their hats, and making flames with onions.

In order to become a hibachi chef, you will need to have experience in cooking and be able to withstand the heat of the grill.

You should also have a good sense of humor and be able to entertain guests.

How Much Can A Hibachi Chef Make In Tips?

While the average hibachi chef makes $39,215 a year in salary, they can also make quite a bit in tips.

The amount will depend on the size of the restaurant and how well the chef does his or her job.

At a small restaurant, a chef might make an extra $20-$30 a night in tips, while at a larger chain like Benihana, they could make upwards of $100-200.

When to Tip Hibachi Chef?

Most people tip their hibachi chef at the end of the meal.

This is usually when the bill comes, and you can include the tip as part of your total.

If you’d prefer to hand a cash tip directly to the chef, you can do so at any time during the meal.

Just let your waiter know that you’d like to do so, and they will make sure the chef gets it.

If it’s a special dinner and you want a little extra attention from the chef, you can also tip him or her before the meal and let them know why.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to tipping the hibachi chef, there are no hard and fast rules.

However, a general guideline is to start with 20% and add more if the food was especially tasty or the chef put on an entertaining show.

Tips are usually pooled together and shared among the staff, so your chef will likely benefit from your generosity.

If you had an exceptional experience, don’t be afraid to let them know with a little extra cash.

Hibachi chefs work hard to put on a good show and make sure their guests have an enjoyable dining experience. A small tip is a great way to show your appreciation for their efforts!

John Goldsmith