Post # 1
A wedding reception venue we are interested in has told us that in addition to the $80/pp (dinner w/ drinks) and 18% gratuity, they charge $25/hour for each staff member (chef, waiters, bartender, etc.) For ~8.5 hours with 6 staffers, this comes out to an additional $1,300. Considering we are already paying them for the meals, and then adding gratuity, it doesn’t seem right for them to charge this additional staffing fee. Is this common? I haven’t seen it at any other venue. I mean if I’m already paying $80 a head, shouldn’t the “labor” be built into that?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Is there a venue fee? That typically covers staff. If there is a venue fee and they are charging a staffing fee I would be looking at another venue.
Post # 4
yeah for my venue food and drink prices were only for food and drink, and staff were included in the additional venue rental fee
it varies from venue to venue, but its not that uncommon
Post # 5
@lestat: Our vendor charged a “service fee” of 20 percent on top of everything and 8% tax.
However, tipping was not required as they told us the “service fee” was there to pay their employees a fair wage.
I don’t really like the practice of “service fees” and “staffing fees”. I feel like the price charged should reflect paying employees a “fair” wage, the venue’s profit, and the product cost included.
I think a “staffing fee” in addition to a “service fee” is excessive. However, if they are working for you for 8.5 hours, this is longer than most wedding and receptions. Is the 8.5 hours for your reception or for the wedding and reception?
Post # 6
I’m not sure what kind of place you are getting married at, but I got married at a museum. I paid a rental fee for the venue, plus a separate charge to the caterer for the meals. Then I paid a staffing charge to the venue for their staff ($1500) and another one to the caterer for the waiters/bartenders.
Post # 7
@greenidlady: It’s only for the reception. Even if we have the ceremony onsite, the whole thing won’t last more than 5 hours. The 8.5 is for cooking, set up, serving and clean up.
Post # 8
We had a blank canvas-type venue so we had to bring everything in.
Our catering company charged for service personnel, including the event captain, service personnel, on-site chefs and a full service bartender. The cost varied from $210-245 for the evening. The service personnel also helped with setting up our venue (tables, chairs, linens).
Our food was separate (and taxable). The meal costs are just that – appetizers, entrees, etc. The service fee is your cost for the staff that you are hiring, much like any rentals you would need. You don’t need to add gratuity; it’s common practice but it’s not like you are required to do so.
Post # 9
@lestat: That seems unreasonable to me. If it was charges for staff that was dedicated to you and your guests for 8.5 hours, that might make sense. But charging service charges and hourly wages together, seems like a double charge. I’d check out other venues in the area and see if they charge these “fees”, as well.
Post # 10
that sounds crazy to me… ive actually never seen it either. what are you paying 80 per person for? bc its not for anyone to make it or serve it. i wouldnt pay 80 a person for ingredients for food…….
Post # 11
@lestat: Wow that doesn’t seem normal. We do not have a rental fee. We are paying per person for food and the bar and had to meet a minimum. If we didn’t meet the minimum they would make us pay that amount anyways and call the extra money the rental fee.
$25/server +18% gratuity? That seems rather excessive. I highly doubt that they actually pay these employees that much for their work. I think this is their way of collecting a rental fee without calling it a rental fee.
Post # 12
@lestat: I live and got married in the Hudson Valley so I’m curious- what venue is this? I visited a ton of places for my wedding in the area and never saw this! I did tons of research for my wedding in the Hudson Valley in 2012 if you need any help!
Post # 13
Service fee is basically gratuity. WHich is not a staff fee. Ours was broken down by food/pp alcohol/pp $/staff member plus the service charge. It was that way at every caterer we talked to.
Post # 14
@lestat: I’m also paying $28 per server and having 6 servers, plus tax. However, our venue is only charging $40 per head for food, and no gratuity.