TO @nixietink: Re – Tipping
Thanks for the UPDATE (Reply # 7) if you are 100% sure that the “cost to run the business” doesn’t include his responsibility to tip his staff from your Invoice…
Then from an Etiquette POV… YES the Serving Staff should be tipped (15% minimum)*
I’d take the total cost of the Bill do the calculation and then divide that number by the total number of Wait Staff at your Event, so that each person gets an equal amount.
Hope this helps,
*Something you should be aware of… IF your Caterer screws up in anyway, you should not be penalizing the Wait Staff… in this instance. Your Caterer should be making HIS final bill right for you (ie compensating for any screw ups). So you have to remember that the Caterer and the Wait Staff are like 2 seperate entities… You base the tip for the Wait Staff based on what you expect the final Caterer Bill to be (Quoted Price) and not any Adjusted Pricing due to Caterer crap.
Example. Caterer Quotes you $ 100 per person for a 5 Course Meal, with Linens and 10 Wait Staff. For 100 People this works out to $ 10,000 + the 20% + Taxes
Say your final Bill all in is $ 15,000. You now are looking at $ 15,000 at 15% (mininmum) as your tip rate for the Serving Staff (or $ 2250) divided by 10 Individuals = $ 225. each
IF your Caterer was to screw up the meal… and only give you Chicken instead of the Salmon he promised, and he adjusts his Invoice… you still have to tip out the Servers as per the Quoted Pricing (it ain’t there fault he f-d up)
NOTE – Tipping Rates in different countries, and how they are calculated as per local customs my differ. For example, in the US people tend to Tip on the After Tax amount (and most people tip higher than just the 15% recommended). In Canada we tip on the Before Tax Amount, and usually just on Food Items (so on the $ 10,000 vs $ 15,000) and altho some tip more than 15%… 15% is certainly the norm here (less so than 20% which is quite common in the USA)
As you can see, Tipping can be a HUGE Amount to ADD ON to your Catering Situation, this is WHY it is essential to know what is included in their Invoice. And as Tips are paid the Day Of… it wouldn’t be beyond me to even Question a few of the Wait Staff as to what their arrangements are with their Employer in regards to payment / tips. (Just to make sure you aren’t actually paying twice)