Post # 1
We are trying to figure out tips for our May wedding. We are getting married at a hotel where we are paying a 22% Service Charge. Is this service charge the same as tips for the waitstaff? Or does it include tips or the equivalent for the waitstaff? Or, are we expected to tip the waitstaff in addition to this charge? If so, how much?
Thank you everyone for your insight! I wouldn’t want to misunderstand or stiff the waiters and waitresses at our reception!
Post # 3
hmmm im interested to hear the answers as i was wondering this too… i guess i just assumed that its the tip…
Post # 4
At our venue I understood the service charge ( that is also taxable ) is not a tip, it is another way that they help pay for the extras, staff, etc
Post # 5
My caterer added a 20% service charge, which WAS the tip. I would ask for clarity. If it’s not the tip, I would definitely want to know exactly what it’s for, because it seems like a way to inflate the cost artificially.
Post # 6
When I worked at a hotel, they explained it as the tip is the gratuity for the servers, and the service charge is for carpet cleaning, routine wear and tear, etc.
Post # 7
I always assumed “service charge” was a nice way of saying “tip.”
Post # 8
@Linz1231: That 20% would clean a lot of carpets. LOL.
Post # 9
I would ask for clarification. Where I work we automatically grat 15% to every credit card transaction. HOWEVER, we also charge a “service charge” of 5% that is distributed amongst the hosts, managers etc. So the receipt reads both service charge and gratuity. Just ask to be safe.
Post # 10
I just assumed it was the tip. Like when a large group dines at a restaurant and they stick the tip on the bill automatically so you dont stiff the waiters.
Post # 11
We are also being charged a 20% service fee at our venue. Everyone I asked so far, said that is considered to be the tip.
Post # 12
I think the service charge is the tip, but I am also going to give my wait staff, coordinator, DOC and officiant cash or gift card tips as well because I don’t know if the “service charge” actually trickles down to them or not. But it won’t be 20% of the total bill, of course. It’ll probably $20-25 each for waitstaff (depending on how many we have) and $50 each for coordinator, DOC and officiant, as a Thank You.
Post # 13
@EmeraldR: You wouldn’t believe how dirty people make venues though, LOL. We had to steam clean after every single event. There was other stuff it covered, but I don’t remember. Haha! Ours wasn’t 20% either.
Post # 14
@Linz1231: That’s true! I hadn’t thought of that.
Post # 15
I actually emailed our venue event director to ask this question. This is the response I got “Yes the 21% service charge does include gratuity to pay our staff”. I’m assuming that this means I don’t need to include an extra tip??
Post # 16
This is directly from my venue’s website:
Service Charge: A 17% service charge is added to your invoice. This charge is not a gratuity. It is to cover all service related personnel. This charge is taxable.
Guess we’re not as lucky for this service charge to be a tip