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7 Twin Cities restaurants are adding a service charge to pay for employees' health insurance

The service charge is a way to be transparent about costs.

Starting this week, you'll start seeing a 3 percent service charge on your checks at some Twin Cities restaurants. 

Kim Bartmann’s restaurants – Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Pat's Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner and The Bird – are adding the fee to help pay for employees' health insurance, according to a news release

The restaurant group has been offering health insurance to employees who work 25-plus hours a week since 1993. They pay 30 percent of the premium and the restaurant covers the rest. 

But because the cost of health insurance has been going up, the restaurants can't afford those increases. That's where the service charge comes in. 

“Rather than just raising prices, we want to be transparent about our costs. We think our customers will appreciate knowing that our workers have good quality, affordable health insurance," Kim Bartmann said in a news release. 

Bartmann calls having health insurance "critical," even for younger employees "who think that they're invincible," and says she's committed to offering health insurance to employees no matter what it takes. 

And Bartmann expects more restaurants to add service charges in the future. 

"We want to continue to take care of our staff and provide great food and experiences to our guests,” Bartmann said in the release. “To do that and be successful, I think we’ll all have to get used to service charges."

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