PITTSBURGH, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Bar Marco in Pittsburgh is the latest restaurant to announce they are banning tipping and instead paying their employees a $35,000 salary with benefits.
The restaurant announced they would be offering contracts to all employees with salaries of $35,000 per year along with healthcare coverage, paid time off and shares in the company. Gratuity will be eliminated altogether.
"That will really take the place and provide some stability, as opposed to the current situation where a lot of servers are making less than $3 an hour and rely on tips just to earn a living wage," said bar co-owner Kevin Cox.
The owners said they will work to make sure customers don't see a bump in menu prices.
"We've done a year's worth of homework for this," said co-owner Bobby Fry. "Our greatest risk is that we do not take care of the people who make Bar Marco so special."
Any money left on the table will be donated to Food Revolution Pittsburgh Cooking Club which works to expand the culinary experiences of the students in Pittsburgh public schools.
Bar Marco is not the only restaurant to do this. In what is becoming a national trend, restaurants are eliminating tipping to protect their servers. Packhouse Meats in Newport made the decision to pay their employees $10 per hour or 20 percent of individual food sales per shift, whichever is larger.
Sushi Yasuda decided early to remove tipping, saying they wanted their employees to be fully compensated.
All the restaurants said it was the only way they could guarantee their servers would have money to bring home.