Put That Tip Away: Restaurant Says No to Tips, Yes to Higher Pay

Photo (cc) by Dave Dugdale

Customers of Pittsburgh’s Bar Marco restaurant soon won’t have to calculate a tip for their server. The restaurant is implementing a no-tips policy in April.

Bar Marco is tossing out the standard hourly wage plus tips for its workers, WPXI reports. Instead, employees will earn a $35,000 base salary for a 40-hour week, plus an employee compensation package that includes health insurance and 500 shares of the company.

“We think the risk for our business three years in is to not do this because we want to retain the quality of employees who we have now,” restaurant co-owner Justin Steel told WPXI.

Proponents of no-tipping have long said that restaurant workers deserve more than the small paychecks many of them get.

Opponents say that “doing away with gratuities means servers won’t make more for good service, and diners won’t be able to reward or punish accordingly,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

Bar Marco will raise some menu prices, but won’t add a blanket service charge to the menu to help cover the new pay structure. “That is forced tipping anyway, and I don’t want to limit the upside to what servers can get,” restaurant co-owner Bobby Fry told CNN Money.

The restaurant has found other ways to help cover the new cost, and they sound like a boon to a genuine foodie. CNN Money said:

The restaurant is also taking on cost-cutting measures like breaking down whole animals in house, making their own meats and sausages, and pickling and fermenting vegetables on site. It’s also expanding its tasting menu offered in its Wine Room to 30 customers from 20. Previously, patrons chose from two seating times, but now they can sit any time.

If diners still want to leave a tip at Bar Marco after tips are banned, the money will be donated to the Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club, a nonprofit that teaches kids to cook and eat healthy meals, the Post-Gazette said.

What do you think of Bar Marco’s no-tipping policy? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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