Restaurant says no more tips after deciding to pay servers $35k a year plus benefits

Some of the staff at Bar Marco, Pittsburgh(Facebook/Bar Marco)

A Pittsburgh restaurant has eliminated its tip policy and will instead pay its servers $35,000 per year - including health benefits, shares, and paid vacations, Next Pittsburgh reports.

Bar Marco, a strip district restaurant in Pittsburgh, will apply these benefits to its 16 full-time staff starting April this year.

The owners believe that the policy will allow the staff to have some consistency in their finances and keep them in their jobs longer.

The owners are also planning to implement the same policy to its sister establishment, The Livermore in East Liberty later this year, reports Trib Live.

"It won't add a service fee to the bill or otherwise raise prices to pay for the switch. All of our current employees have seen and approved the contract," says co-owner Robert Fry.

According to Trib Live, the unusual move started a year ago, when the owners looked for health care options for themselves and their team. It led them to other restaurants that were eliminating gratuity to have more regular pay for the servers.

Fry thinks that offering health care and a complete employment contract to their employees in lieu of gratuity is a great idea.

Alec El, a full-time bartender of the restaurant and who has been with the company for 16 months, says in an interview with Trib Live."The change likely will provide workers incentive to remain in their jobs longer, despite the notoriously transient nature of the restaurant industry," El says.

"Now, we don't have to worry about if it's slow," he says. "It all works out."

Bar Marco recently celebrated three years of its operation and revenue increased to 40 per cent. He credits the improvement to the efforts of his employees.