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Wheat Ridge restaurant bans tipping, adds 20 percent service charge to bills

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WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. -- Abrusci’s Italian Restaurant in Wheat Ridge said Tuesday it will implement a no-tipping policy and instead add a 20 percent service charge to bills beginning July 20.

The restaurant, at 3244 Youngfield St., said the service fee will be for payroll and benefits, and will go toward raises for the staff.

Most of the servers will move to a 34-hour work week and be paid a minimum of $20 an hour. The average kitchen wage will move from $11 an hour to $14.50 an hour.

Customers will be able to evaluate the restaurant experience, including their server and their meal, in a survey that will be provided with each check.

"All of our employees are like family and they deserve to be treated like family," Abrusci’s owner Nancy Progar said in a news release. "Everyone who works in our restaurant deserves a living wage. Happier employees mean better food and service which results in happier customers. While this approach to compensation will be slightly more expensive for us, we feel that it will allow us to be more successful in the future."

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