Post # 1
Okay bees, I have a conundrum.
We are having a 12 person wedding. Instead of a caterer, we are hiring a personal chef (owns her own business) to come out and make us a meal ($130 each, so $1600 total). She is bringing a server. I emailed her today because we are getting tips ready in envelopes and I didn’t what was typical for the situation. She had previously stated that her bill included all fees, so I was expecting to give $60-$80 as everything I’ve read said servers get $30-$40 and I wanted to be generous.
I asked: “What is the typical gratuity for your server? I want to be sure to thank him or her appropriately!”
Her response was “Typically my clients tip 10-20% on the bill. While it is never expected it is always appreciated!”
So… I’m confused! Does this mean SHE expects a $150-$300 tip? Or her server does? Because that seems a little crazy to me. The meal will be 1.5 hours. I am expecting that she is paying the server already. I can not even imagine tipping $200/hr on top of that! If that’s true, I need to quit my job and start serving!
What would you do?
Post # 2
Strawberryfarmer: never expected but always appreciated says it all.
Post # 3
bitsybee: so if YOU were to tip, how much would you give? And to whom?
Post # 4
Strawberryfarmer: Hey, I actually am a personal chef. I usually work for one family, and they pay me hourly no matter how many people I serve. The larger the party, the larger the tip. But your chef seems to be making significantly more than I make for a party, at least double what I make and I usually cook for 80+ if I get a tip.
She seems clear that she wants a tip, but I am telling you honestly that she is being paid very well for her services. Like, higher than anyone in our industry. In my book, if you own your own business, you don’t get a tip.
As for the server, he/she will be serving 12 guests. That’s a large party. Imagine you were at a restaurant, you would tip 20%. I think that would be very generous of you, but I would go off of that.
Post # 5
I don’t think it seems unreasonable to tip the waiter $200 for serving. I probably wouldn’t give the chef an additional tip unless I felt like she did an exceptional job.
Post # 6
When they own their own business, no tip is appropriate It seems. For the server, I’d tip about $40 per hour, so $60 total.
Post # 7
Strawberryfarmer: depends on if they consider themselves professionals or service industry folks. I’ve worked in professional services and wanting or expecting a tip is unprofessional.
The chef owns her own business so she is free to negotiate the rate she wants. I am not tipping any vendor owners. The servers I’d tip depending on a variety of factors, including their hourly rate. If they work and make a service industry wage, then I would tip 15-20%, depending on the level of service delivered.
I asked all of my vendors to itemize all services and OOP expenses. If appropriate, I’m tipping only on the services portion of the fee and not the OOPs.
To make the math easy in this case, I’d set aside $26/meal for the tip pool, but I’d also expect at least 2, if not 3 servers to handle my party. If it’s only one person trying to handle all 12 of us, I would imagine that service would suffer. The servers should split the tip pool.