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Abrusci's Italian Restaurant Bans Tipping, Raises Prices

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Is tipping discriminatory?

There's a lot of talk in the restaurant world about the value of tipping, or lack thereof. One Wheat Ridge restaurant, Abrusci's, is banning tipping all together and adding a 20 percent service charge to bills instead.

"We wanted to be able to pay our entire staff, both front-of-house and kitchen, especially those that are full-time, a living wage... The tipping model doesn't fully allow for that," Abrusci's owner Nancy Progar told the Denver Post in this article. The piece also quotes a press release from the restaurant that explains further measures being taken to secure the wages and benefits of its employees: 34-hour work weeks, paid vacations, annual bonuses, and a minimum wage of $20 per hour for servers.

The Denver Post article cites several other high-end restaurants in the United States that have replaced tipping with service charges, including French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York. It also cites Cornell University professor Michael Lynn, who argues that tipping is discriminatory.

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