Sushi Restaurant Warns Against TikTok Conveyor Belt Trend

As TikTok users rack up millions of views by placing their phones on sushi restaurant conveyor belts, one eatery had a strong warning against such behavior.

The trend sees users prop their phone up on an empty plate on the conveyor belt, letting it film as it makes its way around the restaurant. The outcome normally involved joyous reactions from other guests as they smile or wave at the camera.

However, the practice has also been criticised by some who feel it's an invasion of privacy, and one sushi restaurant went as far as to put a sign up to deter visitors from attempting it. The sign has some frank words about where the phone will end up if they decide to do it anyway.

As shared on Reddit by user "BrassWallet," the sign belongs to Nippon Sushi, though the exact location is unknown with various restaurants sharing that name across the U.S. and Canada.

"Kindly refrain from placing your phone on the conveyor belt to make a TikTok," reads the sign. "This is invasive to the privacy of other diners who do not wish to be recorded and at the end of the belt cycle, your phone will be lowered with empty plates into our commercial-grade dishwasher, where it will be fully submerged in water, detergent, sanitizing agents, rinse additives, and within a 90 second cycle pressurized and heated to 180 degrees F.

"We are not responsible for damaged phones. Thank you!"

It's pretty safe to assume the restaurant doesn't have such an automatic dishwashing system as lots of plates still have food on, and it's likely that dishes are taken off the conveyor belt, cleared and loaded manually. But the sign, almost certainly light-heartedly, suggests phones will be treated as regular empty plates and given the same treatment when taken off the conveyor belt.

The message is clear—they don't want you filming TikToks on the conveyor belt.

The trend kicked off in May on the app, when a TikTok user shared footage from placing her phone on an empty plate in a sushi restaurant with more than 3 million viewers. It amped up toward the end of July when, as covered by Newsweek, TikToker Julia Franco shared footage from her attempt at the trend, gaining over 14 million views since with viewers dubbing it "cinematic."

Just last week, New Yorker Sabrina Hunsicker gained over 33 million views with her footage from a sushi conveyor belt, and the trend doesn't look set to stop.

Other Restaurants Not Happy

Similar behavior has brought criticism from other sushi restaurants in the past. In 2018, popular YouTuber TkyoSam made the practice popular after posting footage from a conveyor belt in Japan to his channel.

The video blew up, but was also met with wide criticism over hygiene and privacy concerns. At the time, sushi chain Akindo Sushiro, where the video was filmed, actually banned cameras from their restaurants.

In a translated statement, the company said: "It is not permissible from the viewpoint of hygiene management and the privacy of visitors who visited us. We will consider strict responses, including legal measures."

TkyoSam denied any upset in the restaurant at the time, writing in a comment that: "The staff were extremely nice about the whole situation."

People in a sushi restaurant
A file photo of a sushi restaurant. Getty Images