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Would you pay more at a restaurant to help cover your server’s health insurance? Logan Square’s Fat Rice hopes so.

After six successful years in business, Logan Square hotspot Fat Rice is taking a calculated risk: Starting next week, it will add a 4 percent surcharge to all customer checks to help pay for employee health insurance and boost the wages of kitchen staff.

Fat Rice’s decision is the latest in a small but growing movement among Chicago restaurants to bring health benefits to an industry notorious for not offering them, a trend advocates say is necessary if restaurants are to maintain stable workforces amid surging competition.

The decision to add a separate line item to customer checks to help fund health benefits, a method that has been tried with some success at other restaurants, came after careful consideration, the owners said.

“This is a massive risk for us,” said Fat Rice chef Abe Conlon, who opened the Macau-inspired restaurant with business partner Adrienne Lo. “But hopefully we are established enough that we are able to do this without major hiccups.”

Boka Group offer health insurance to hourly employees, the benefit is uncommon among smaller, independent restaurants operating on thin margins and without an administrative staff.

Bob Goldin, a partner at Chicago-based food industry consulting firm Pentallect, said restaurants are going to have to start offering health care benefits to attract and retain employees, and those that don’t are going to be at a significant labor disadvantage as Chicago’s restaurant scene continues to grow.

But Goldin doubts adding a surcharge to pay for the perk will be received well beyond a few neighborhood restaurants, as many customers will view it as another tax and balk.

“I just don’t see it spreading,” he said. “Consumers are sympathetic with the situation, but by and large the attitude is ‘You pay them, why should we?’”