Strip District Restaurant To Institute “No Tipping” Policy

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tucked into an old fire station in the Strip District, Bar Marco prides itself on doing things differently.

Starting April 1, owners will institute a “no tipping” policy. Cash left on the table will go to charity.

“We’re going to standardize their pay so their pays will be the same every week,” co-owner Justin Steel explains. “And what it does is it provides them some stability.”

Prices will rise slightly to offset salaries of $35,000 a year, plus health insurance.

Bartender Alec El says a regular paycheck will guard against the ups and downs of the restaurant business.

“I don’t have to say, ‘Oh, I’ve got to spend this week, I’ve got to save this week.’ I know what I’m spending and saving every week,” he said.

Employees are on board with the plan. It’s worked in restaurants in other cities. But what would customers think of it?

“If everybody gets paid the same, I don’t think that’s good,” says Don Troesch of the South Side. “There’s no motivation to work harder.”

“I think it’s good that they get more money, but I still think they could get a tip because it shows your gratitude,” adds Beth Freiss of Allison Park.

Will the lack of tipping take away the incentive of the staff? Owners and staff say no. Each employee is getting shares in the restaurant. The better the bar does – the more shares they get.

That’s incentive – and a “tip” other restaurants might just follow.

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