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The restaurant Bar Marco in Pittsburgh closed their doors to have a different kind of workday on Tuesday.
Comprised of 26 staff members, the restaurant was attempting to redesign its employee lounge and shower. They examined the aisles of Target for bath towels and some decorative ornaments. They looked for old high-school lockers on Craigslist to use as personal lockers.
Bar Marco also holds its weekly financial meeting on Tuesdays. They collaborate and brainstorm on ways to improve their services and ambiance and decrease monetary spending and food left-overs. All employees have access to the restaurant’s total earnings.
As soon as the meeting ends, they exchange weekly homeworks—a three-paragraph article about any nonfiction book. Thirty-year-old Bobby Fry, the founder of Bar Marco says, “Anytime you’re serving people, you should have more to talk about than the weather.”
As you might have noticed, Bar Marco is not your typical restaurant. The restaurant gained the nation’s attention earlier this year by declaring that it would completely stop accepting tips as of April 1. Alternatively, each employee is entitled to receive a base salary of $35,000 at least, excluding bonuses based on profits, health insurance membership upon getting hired, 500 shares in the business, and paid vacations.
To pull this insane stunt off, they reconstructed their menu. They went for cheaper, local ingredients and substituted portioned choices into shareable platters. Fry says, “Here’s the funny thing, great ingredients are the only thing in this world where the higher the quality, the less the price.”
Some choices in the innovative menu include dandelion risotto dish at $17, chimichurri meatballs for $16, and espresso burger priced at $14. Although the prices of each dish had a slight drop to account for the new portion sizes, it significantly increased the employees’ wage.