Do you tip the waiting staff?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
1570 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Most venues incluce tips in the contract.  If you have already signed, please read it carefully, looking for service charges or gratiuties.  The time to ask is BEFORE you sign — after you have signed, the venue is more likley to say, oh tip on top of the charges — and why not, they have to pay their people less if you tip on top of any charges.

Post # 4
Member
1243 posts
Bumble bee

Our caterer includes gratuities, however we will be tipping the 3 bartenders working the function, probably about $50-$100 each.

Post # 5
Member
80 posts
Worker bee

Our venue catering and bar already includes a 18% tip per the contract. 

 

 

Post # 6
Member
1570 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I would add, I had a friend who worked at a catering hall at a nice country club.  Any time there was a wedding, they would already be on OT and get an 18% tip (wait staff, bartendars, busboys would split). 

Post # 7
Member
1535 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Ours is included in the contract. I’m sure people will tip the bartenders extra though

Post # 8
Member
1649 posts
Bumble bee

There are two kinds of tipping.

Proper traditional-etiquette tipping is done to recognize the personal nature of anyone from whom you receive personal individual service, but who is NOT your direct employee. If your own dressing-maid does some over-the-top service for you, or your own cook makes your absolute favourite meal on your birthday, you do not tip him or her, you pay them a bonus or raise their salary. If someone else’s staff does that — the waitress at a restaurant notices your difficulty with chopsticks and discretely brings you a fork (or anything else that goes beyond slapping your food down in front of you with a surly grunt) then you tip her. In this kind of tipping, the amount that you tip is entirely up to you.

The other kind of tipping is tipping to redress entrenched economic injustices that have been engendered by the tipping system and become self-perpetuating. When wait-staff are routinely tipped their employers and legistlative representatives (and the tax-man) come to expect them to get by on tips, and withold from them a fair wage. This allows the employer to offer you lower prices, so you get an advantage at the expense of someone with swollen ankles and few employment options. You have to tip then, to redress the injustice. An even better way to redress the injustice is to lobby your legislators to extend fair-wage protection to all workers, even waitresses. In this type of tipping the going rate is 15%, although there is pressure to bring it up to 18% or more. Of course, the more you tip, the more employers come to rely on tips to compensate their staff. Some even require wait-staff to pay other employees out of their presumed tips, so that an un-tipped waiter actually loses money.

Also some employers and self-employed contractors will underbid their services on the assumption that they will be tipped. Some will cover even their risk of being underpaid only their as-bid contract amount, by writing the tip (or “service charge” into the contract. It’s really just part of their fee, and they have no intention of passing it along to their underpaid employees. Whether you want to reward the practice of under-bidding by self-employed vendors (assuming that they leave their ‘tip’ to your discretion) is at your option. I think it is unethical to underbid the competition on the expectation of getting a competitive recompense anyway, so I prefer not to encourage the practice.

If your vendors do have “service fees” written into their contract, check with them to see how those fees will be distributed to their employees, and what the wages of those employees are. If the result leaves the wait-staff still paid below minimum wage, you will be participating in social injustice unless you also tip them directly.

Post # 9
Member
1570 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

In New York, it is illegal for venues to charge gratuties or service fees and not pay employees.  Yes, I agree good to ask details BEFORE signing.  

Post # 10
Member
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

   Gratuity is not included in our contract…but with the amount we are spending on the wedding per head…a 15% gratuity would be absolutely insane. FI and I definitely don’t have the money to tip that much.

I think we are going to ask how many waiters/waitresses/bartenders will be assisting us that night and tip accordingly. 

Post # 11
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2002

As someone who worked on the industry as a server and as a banquet manager, I feel badly when people are led to believe that that 18 or 20% gratuity goes to the servers and bartenders only.  Lets say your wedding is 10,000.  1800 of it does NOT get divided evenly amoung, lets say, 10 waitresses and 3 bartenders.  That would be great for them!  no matter what the gratuity portion of  the contract states, the staff gets an agreed-upon wage which equals much less than that gratuity.   Many folks will throw the staff a little extra, and it is greatly appreciated.  For example, an extra $10 -$20 per employee makes a huge difference in what they tale home, and soften an even greater difference in the level of service you will receive.

Post # 12
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

We gave additional cash tips on top of the 20% service charged under our contract, with the most going to the venue coordinator and event manager, half that amount to the two banquet captains, and a quarter of that amount to each of the waiters and bartenders.  I asked my day-of coordinator for her input about what was typical in our city and type of venue.  Perhaps you can ask your DOC if you have one, or another one of your vendors who is savvy about these things (like even your florist if he or she does a lot of weddings). 

Post # 13
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@ChocolateLime:  i asked our venue coordinator if they had a suggested amount. I had that amount ready in an envelope to give the maitre d, but they did such a good job that i added more money in…

strongly recommend putting all your tips in envelopes before the day of– makes it SO much easier!

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