Post # 1
Our caterer is awesome. Hiring the servers is optional, at $175 each. We do plan on hiring them, but do we tip on top of that? It seems to me that $175 for a couple of hours serving at a buffet is plenty. We’re also paying $150 for a dishwasher, and our venue provides the set-up and clean-up.
Thoughts on tipping on top of the $175/each fee?
Post # 3
Since the server fee is optional I would say that $175 fee is their tip. We have servers included in our catering contract so we have a food fee and then a mandatory 18% tip. Although I’m betting they’re not getting all of that $175.
Post # 4
Its up to you – the servers will almost definitely not be getting that $175. That goes to the catering company and the servers will be paid a normal hourly rate. I dont know if we will be tipping our servers (included in the package), might just tip the captain.
Just an FYI-just because a venue charges a service charge or "gratuity" does not mean the servers get that. We charge a service charge and our servers do not get that money, they get an hourly pay. The service charge goes toward paying that salary along with salaries for the chefs, dishwashers, other staffing, etc, they dont get a tip on top of their salary.
Post # 5
I’ve been wondering about this too. We have lots of servers, bartenders, supervisor, pantry supervisor, etc. The cost is included in our contract, and it seems like a large amount. Do we tip on top of this? The contract says tax is not included, but I don’t know about tip. Arrrgh.
Do I just ask my caterer?
Post # 6
@UrbanLeo–if it’s not stated in the contract, I’m fairly confident it’s not included, but you should definitely ask.
Post # 7
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I like hearing other people’s situations. We have a meeting with our caterer this month, so I’ll bring it up.
Post # 8
I would say that if it is in your budget to give them a tip, go for it because, as several others pointed out, the servers will probably not walk away with the full $175. You could always ask your caterer about this. I think it’s a totally fair question.
Post # 9
You should ask the caterer, because I know for a fact that when I was serving for a company I didn’t get the whole $175. I was paid an hourly wage and got a cut of the tip that we hoped the client left. HTH