Post # 1
My wedding date is coming up quickly and I’m trying to noodle out tipping for my vendors. Some of my vendors have already shown great service in the planning period, so I already know I want to tip them on the wedding day. Other vendors I plan to bring envelopes with cash so I can decide day of if some went above and beyond and deserve a bit more added to their envelope.
My main question is on tipping the caterer…. My balance is due to the caterer one week before the wedding. And my catering coordinator has politely mentioned a few times that 15-20% is suggested and I can add onto my final invoice or pay in cash day of.
But bees, how can I tip a week before the wedding when they haven’t even completed their service? What if the food is horrible and the waiters have terrible service?
Also, I’m really struggling with the 15-20%. That would be over $3K for my catering bill and I just don’t see the point in handing over thousands more dollars to the caterering company on top of the thousands I’ve already paid. Don’t get me wrong, I think the servers and bartenders and service staff definitely deserve something but it’s hard to figure out if I’m just being cheap after paying out all of the exorbitant wedding costs over the past couple of months.
So am I being cheap? Or did you bees find another way to tip your vendors to show your appreciation?
Post # 2
Where I am 15-20% is a regular tip for food service. Our food bill will be large on our wedding day because we will have a large amount of people. That doesn’t mean we don’t have the pay the waitstaff all the same. If I am having waitstaff serve 50 people, in theory the tip shouldn’t be less than if my fiance and I go to the same restaurant 25 times. The fact that the bill is all rolled up, because you are rolling up several people in one bill, should not effect the waitestaff’s income.
I wish that food service would just give an actual price instead of itemizing out the salaries of waitstaff, but that’s not the system we have. Also, food quality shouldn’t effect waitstaff pay though service should.
Post # 3
It sounds like your catering is on the expensive side if 15-20% is $3K. I’d lean toward tipping something like $50 per server, plus a $100/chef.
Post # 4
Your catering is definitely more so on the expensive end. I’m assuming that this means it’ll be a bigger wedding? More work for the staff, they should be compensated for it. It’s expensive but that’s to be expected when the bill is already that high. I agree though, I’d tip on the day of in case something goes horribly wrong.
Post # 5
I think that sounds high. In college I occasionally worked as a server for a caterer, I was paid $12/hr plus a smaller tip. It is my understanding that in restaurants waitstaff are paid FAR less (like maybe $3 per hour?? Is that right?) and we tip them bringing their take home closer to a livable wage. Definitely tip! But I do not think you need to tip what you would in a restaurant.
Post # 6
I would check your invoice & quote before you provide anything extra to make sure you’re not already paying a gratuity. Caterers typically include this in your pricing.
The standard amount in my area for caterers is 15-18%.
Post # 7
misspeony55 : We rented out a bar to host our reception and they will automatically add a 20% tip to our final bill. This seems to be the standard for all of the other places I have recieved quotes from as well (in Seattle).
Post # 8
The gratuity for us was included in the catering costs already. Double check that they didn’t already include it.
We did have a bartender whose tip wasn’t included in the cost and did tip him at the end of the night.
Either way, I definitely wouldn’t tip $3k. I like the idea of $50/server, $100/chef suggestion.
Post # 9
When I worked in catering, I didn’t see the tip if it was added to the final bill. I only saw it if it was paid in cash to me the night of the event. 50$ a server is plenty, and your servers will be incredibly greatful. Despite what you hear, most people don’t actually tip (Or they do, and I just never saw it cause it all went to the owner).
Post # 10
- Wedding: September 2017 - Pearson Convention Centre
We tipped all of our vendors 20% of the overall bill but when it came to tip the caterers we tipped each server and bar tender. We spoke to the head server a few days before our wedding so we knew how many chefs, servers and bartenders were working and everyone got tipped
Post # 11
impatient1 : Sorry should have clarified, the catering staff includes chefs so that’s where I meantion food quality!
Post # 12
lyfe_girl : Thats what I’ve seen as well! Tipping per person rather than a %. That’s what I was leaning towards as well….
Post # 13
longtobee : See deep down this is what I’m afraid of! The servers and chefs and bartenders deserve the tip, and Im happy to give. But I’m afraid if I say okay catering manager here is $3k then most of it goes to the company/owner and I have no idea how much makes it to the staff
Post # 14
I’d tip in cash, day of, and give a per-person amount.
The thing is, the cost of catering usually includes more than the basic costs covered in a restaurant, so restaurant-ratio tipping isn’t necessary when it’s extravagant.
A tip: Have your coordinator, or a trusted family member or friend, do the tipping day-of. You’ll likely forget with all the excitement. (I’m a coordinator, and brides nearly always forget to tip (and make final payments to) vendors when they plan to do it themselves.)