When it comes to restaurants, tipping is always a hot button topic. Most servers rely on tips to help make ends meet, especially in states like Indiana where hourly wages for servers are usually somewhere between $2 and $3 per hour, which makes the tip even more important.

Some people are terrible tippers and others tip very well. My wife and I routinely tip at least 20% and for good service, as much as 25%. Some servers are of the opinion that a customer should always leave a tip for the effort, if nothing else.

Most customers believe tips are earned and will be based solely on the performance of the server. Either way, a tip should be between the server and the customer and in my opinion, the restaurant should stay out of that relationship.

A new restaurant in Pittsburgh, Bar Marco, has banned tipping by customers. In return, the restaurant says it will pay it's servers a base salary of $35,000 per year, plus medical benefits, and 500 shares of stock, which, on the surface, sounds pretty good, but what about the customer that simply wants to reward a server for a job well done?

Bar Marco was looking for a way to give their employees benefits. The goal was to give employees a complete employment contract that would not include gratuities. The best part for the restaurant is they feel like they can accomplish this WITHOUT raising menu prices......don't hear THAT very often.

I personally would feel very awkward leaving Bar Marco without leaving a tip, but if they are making a solid, competitive and livable wage, I could live with that. Whether you agree with this or not, it will be interesting to see if other restaurants follow suit. This could be a workable resolution to the minimum wage debate, especially at the fast food level...we'll see.

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