(Closed) so what’s with gratuities?

posted 10 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2007

Hi Dream —  We felt the same way too — our photog became a friend (so cash seemed really crude, even tho’ we did pay her as a vendor), the caterer and the coordinator were both the business owners, as were the baker, florist and makeup artist.  I gave cash to the makeup artist, along with a nice handwritten thank you note. We didn’t tip the baker or florist (per convention).  We didn’t tip the caterer herself b/c I asked our coordinator, and he said that it wasn’t necessary or expected, but cash for the caterer’s staff was appropriate.  We gave the coordinator a gift certificate to an expensive restaurant (we made sure the g/c would at least cover entrees for 2 people) and we gave our photog jewelry, which she loved.

If it’s the business owner, it does seem to be pretty conventional that you don’t need to tip them (but don’t forget to tip their staff, if it’s called for, like catering staff; and I think that makeup artists are an exception). But I think they do appreciate a nice note, and I bet if you did send them a gift basket after, they’d think it was very nice of you. 

Post # 4
Member
10 posts
Newbee

Hi girls,

 Lately I have been wondering the same thing, I mean we have already contracted with them for A LOT of $ and on top of that, I still have to tip?  Most of my vendors are the owner’s of their businesses and I do not plan on tipping them, I mean I don’t get tipped everyday for doing my job, right?  Also, I think the tipping concept has gotten a little out of hand, a tip should not be expected, it should be earned for an exceptional job, so for the catering wait staff and the bartenders we will be providing a tip, and for all those vendors who I feel did an exceptional job, however for everyone else that owns their businesses there will be none of that.  

Post # 5
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

Catering tipping can be confusing.  Many places include gratuity – 15 -20% on top of your overall food bill.  You’re correct that you don’t need to tip owners of their own business, however you should tip the wait staff and bartenders.  If you’re giving a lot of tips to the staff and bartenders, tell them not to receive any tips from your guests.

Think about how you tips servers when you go out to eat.  However, some catering companies charge you a flat fee for each server and bartender and then expect tip on top of that.  Since you’re paying for the service, you do not need to tip the full 15% (you don’t pay the server’s salary at a restaurant).  It can get messy… some chefs expect a tip too.  Mine expected a tip, even though it was his own business.

As for other services, coordinators, maitre’d, etc, tip them what you think is appropriate.  I am my own company, so I never expect a tip.  However, sometimes I still receive one (ranging from $50-110) and it really is very nice. I think a nice fruit basket, or simply a card is a great tip for those who own their own business. 

If you do get confused about your contracts and gratuity, it is OKAY to ask the vendor.  Or, ask the vendor for referrals and contact them and ask how they tipped to get a good ball park idea.

Post # 6
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

Hi there!  As a vendor who doesn’t fall into the traditional service categories, I can say krissy is right — you’ve already paid a lot of money for the services, and particularly if the vendor owns their own business, tipping is unexpected and unnecessary.  However, a nice note of thanks is always appreciated — and free!  (Well almost free.)  If you were really nice and wanted to go above and beyond for a particular vendor, the gift basket, certificate or something specific would be really nice.  But it’s definitely not necessary.

Post # 7
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

hi! chill, are you saying that 15% is too much, or that it’s just right? and what is it 15% of? just the food? the food and service? is cake included? if they’re setting up the rentals, those too? SO confused! please help. =(

Post # 9
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

Rebecca,

15% should be based on food and beverage (including alcohol).  This also includes the cake if it is part of your package. 15% is not too much and is just right.  Some places do charge up to 20% as Dreambml noted. It depends on the caterer.  I believe the gratuity does not include setting up of rentals, and that is something you will need to discuss with your venue/caterer. 

Where I work, the entire per person head includes linens, chairs, china, stemware, all food, open bar, ballroom, cocktail hour, cake, tax, and gratuity.  I don’t know how the owner calculates the tip from everything, but it’s a good deal if you ask me.  Other services, such as on-site coordinator, maitre’d’s gratuity is not usually included and that is to your discretion. 

If you get your cake through a separate vendor, you only need to tip who delivers the cake.  Same goes with florist delivery.

I hope that helps!

 

Post # 10
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

chill – I’ve worked in food & beverage for years and I just wanted to point out that you need to tip servers/bartenders/waitstaff only if there is no gratuity included in your bill.  If there is an automatic gratuity included on your bill, then you do NOT need to tip on top of the gratuity.  That gratuity is passed on to the waitstaff in one way or another (some have a higher hourly wage in anticipation of gratuities included on event bills, sometimes it is just passed on to the staff directly on an event-by-event basis.)  So just be sure to check if you are already paying a gratuity and if so, you do not need to worry about tipping waitstaff.

Post # 11
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2007

Smartl, that is correct.  If Gratuity is included in your price, then no you don’t need to tip any more than that.  Tip 15%-20% of your food and drink bill if gratuity is NOT included.

Post # 12
Member
1061 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

thanks chill!

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