Post # 1
We are having a heavy hors d’oeuvres wedding reception, meaning it is more of a help yourself type deal. However, we do have 4 servers from the catering company for taking away glasses or perhaps refilling water. I’m assuming guests will help themselves to the bar.
What do I need to tip the servers? We’re paying $15/hr for each server already, and tipping them 15 percent of a $4,000 food bill seems like a bit much, considering they’re not serving much of anything.. It would be a totally different story if we had a plated dinner. Does anyone know what’s expected in that buffet-style situation?
I’d rather tip too much than too little, and if that’s still 15% so be it, but I’d like to avoid a $600 tip for filling up water glasses if I can!
Post # 3
@CzechBride14: the grat is added to the bill in our case so we get no choice. You’re lucky that isn’t the case for you!
Post # 4
@CzechBride14: Hm, would you be tipping 15% of the food bill from the catering company, or would you be paying them 15% of the wages they made for the night?
If it’s the food bill, I agree with you that it’s really excessive.
Post # 5
Yeah we were required to pay 20% gratuity on our bill total which was probably about 2k (venue cost and food bill were together). Ouch!
Post # 6
I do think you need to tip something, because regardless they aren’t getting paid $15. But I don’t think you have to do a % based tip. You could do a set amount. Like $75/server.
I do suspect if they are around they will end up serving drinks and replenishing food, and mingling and actually serving.
Post # 7
To @CzechBride14: Etiquette Snob here… lol
If I have understood you correctly you’ll actually be dealing with 2 different line items on one Invoice… OR 2 seperate Invoices… one for Catering (Food) and one for Service.
Your Catering Bill may or maynot have a line item for Grats (often listed at 15% to 20%) in which case you’ll need to discuss with the Catering Co. WHAT that covers.
If you are paying the Wait Staff yourself seperately $ 15 per hour (different Invoice or Line Item) … then you should TIP on that amount if they aren’t getting the Grats from the Catering Co.
Example… 1 Server @ $ 15 / Hr x 5 Hours = $ 75 + 15% ($ 11.25 TIP MINIMUM)
Hope this helps,
Post # 8
@This Time Round: This is definitely helpful!
They ARE with the same company, but every little price is broken down on the invoice. Food, any rentals they need (tables, glassware, etc.), $300 chef fee, $150 “food coordinator” fee, server fee, etc. I know for a fact that the servers receive the full $15/hr. So all the planners and chefs have their “gratuity” built in to whatever they charge us for that line item so it is not a separate line on the contract.
With a charge of 5 hours (for a 3.5 hour reception) that’s $75 each. That does not mean they shouldn’t be tipped, of course, but they’re not making the normal Texas server $2.13 wage either. I would quit graduate school and become a full time server if I were making $15/hr plus a $150 tip ($225 each?) for 4 hours of work. Coming from someone that was a server through all of my undergrad, I don’t think I’m being totally unfair or rude. It’s a wedding with 80-100 people, and the only legimitate “dishes” are the water cups. Everything else can be thrown away.
Apoligize for the novel, but that being said, I would be more than happy with tipping 50%+ of their total wage for the evening (or something along those lines). I will dance around that idea for a bit, thank you!