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Restaurant Bans Tips, Gives Servers $35K a Year

Pittsburgh's Bar Marco also will provide health care, paid vacation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2015 4:10 PM CST
Updated Jan 11, 2015 3:40 PM CST
Restaurant Bans Tips, Gives Servers $35K a Year
In this June 19, 2008 file photo, a tip is left by a customer at a restaurant in St. Clair Shores, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

(Newser) – A Pittsburgh restaurant's policy change has Eater wondering whether tips will become a thing of the past in the restaurant industry. Starting in April, Bar Marco will stop accepting tips and start paying its full-time servers $35,000 a year, plus benefits unusual for the restaurant world: health care, paid vacation, and shares in the company, reports Next Pittsburgh. It won't add a service fee to the bill or otherwise raise prices to pay for the switch.

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“All of our current employees have seen and approved the contract,” says co-owner Robert Fry. “They will have a lot of responsibilities, too—like being present at bi-monthly finance meetings. We want complete transparency. We want people who want to be part of what we are doing.” The Tribune-Review talks to a Bar Marco bartender happy with the move who predicts that workers will stay in their jobs longer because of the stability. The establishment isn't the first to implement a no-tip policy, and a San Diego restaurateur explains why he thinks it makes sense. (Read more tips stories.)

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