(Closed) THE Catering vendor tipping conundrum…..

posted 9 years ago in Money
  • poll: How much do you tip / plan on tipping the caterer?
    I don't / didnt plan on tipping, their prices were inflated to include gratuity! : (28 votes)
    64 %
    I tipped 10-15% of entire catering bill : (6 votes)
    14 %
    I tip 15-20% of entire catering bill : (2 votes)
    5 %
    I tipped based on JUST the FOOD and BEVERAGE costs (bc I don't feel like tipping the linen!!) lol. : (8 votes)
    18 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    361 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I guess I might watch this thread with the same question.  I hadn’t planned on tipping the waiters and bartenders only because I am hiring them alone to serve my wine and my food.  Since the price is just for them, I didn’t think that tipping them on top of that was necessary.  I’ll be interested to see the answers on this one.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1205 posts
    Bumble bee

    I think that tipping is appreciated, but not required.  I voted that we will tip per food costs, but only because we need another option. 

    I plan on tipping per person – an extra $XXX per waiter/bartender/etc.  Much our weddng is as a package, so vendors are sub-contracted out.  If these vendors do a great job, they can expect a thank you note with a bonus or something.  The actual staff will get tipped based on performance/service.

    Post # 5
    Member
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    These are great questions, and brought up one of my own…

    If the facility/caterer imposes a “service charge” of around 20%, isn’t that considered a tip, or is that something else?

    Post # 6
    Member
    599 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    Our tipping was included in the bill, it was 18% of the food only. They didn’t charge tip on the service fees, or the hourly rate for the servers, or the tax, or the delivery and set up fees. I would try to get the gratuity rolled into the bil as a line item so you don’t need to worry about having that cash the day of!

    Post # 8
    Member
    216 posts
    Helper bee

    Always remember that if you are feeling stress over something like this,   you can ask for more details!    You can ask ” what do MOST people do ” ( and of course … hopefully the vendor will answer honestly ).       I am assuming that MOST brides do not tip the catering staff and that it’s included,    but maybe a wedding planner can give more details.

     

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    Post # 9
    Member
    229 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Our caterer quote included a charge for 15 servers at $12/hour each (they’ll work 5 hours each) and the quote included 15% gratuity on the food total only.  

    Post # 10
    Member
    610 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Our tipping is included in our bill as 20% gratuity so we do not plan on tipping unless someone goes out and beyond his/her means for some disastrous events.

    I think theknot or some wedding planning guidebook has some guidelines on how to tip when gratuity is not included in the bill. See here.

    Post # 11
    Member
    355 posts
    Helper bee

    i plan to tip 15%- but need to take a second look at the contract to check if any service charges are already included. i think 15% is standard on most everything for the wedding unless it’s already included as a service charge. unless a vendor goes way above and beyond- then you might consider 20%, but usually there is quite a difference since we’re talkin about a lot of money!

    Post # 12
    Member
    116 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    Thanks, Soon2BeMrsCLW3!  

    I think my situation might be a little different, though, since my venue is, in essence, my caterer exclusively.  So the 20% is on the total bill!

    Post # 13
    Member
    95 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    We have a 19% Service charge included on our food bill. I think $10,000 or $12,000 is enough to give the caterer considering the service charge is including the linen rentals. Also we have someone seperate doing our alcohol, and we’re letting the bartenders ask for tips.

    Post # 14
    Member
    43 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: November 2009

    I looked up the tipping policy and checked with my SIL as she was in the catering industry for years. Here are my findings…

    Typically an 18-20% gratuity/service charge is included in the total cost per head (but be sure to verify that with your venue/cataerer) which is paid in advance. If it is included, no additional  amount is necessary at the end of the night. Some guests (especially older gentlemen) may choose to tip a particular waiter/ess if they go above and beyond. This is acceptable, but should be done very discretely – not left on the table – and it is by no means required.) The head caterer would typically receive a tip ($50-$100), as would the DJ, photo/videographer, and wedding planner (but only if the vendor doesn’t own company). For the bartender, tax & gratuity is often included in an open bar price (check your contract) but many guests will tip $1-$2 per order regardless of whether there’s a tip jar. For cash bars, the guest will tip on their own and for consumption bars, you’d include a tip based on bill amount. All tips (except for consumption bar if paid by credit card) should be given in cash on the day of the event by the best man (any day-of cash payments should also me made by the BM). To make it easier, put the cash in envelopes in advance, feel free to include a little thank you note, and label each envelope.

    Post # 15
    Member
    1120 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Yeah, our venue included a gratuity in the contract for 18%. We figured that if something horrible happened and staff had to go above and beyond to make the reception a success, we’d pay more than that.

    Post # 15
    Member
    1120 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    Yeah, our venue included a gratuity in the contract for 18%. We figured that if something horrible happened and staff had to go above and beyond to make the reception a success, we’d pay more than that.

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