(Closed) Wedding at hotel-tips over service charge?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3306 posts
Sugar bee

Um, isn’t that the tip already? They just impose it to make sure you tip? I wouldn’t give any extra, especially since guests will also leave their own tips for drinks.

Post # 4
3182 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We tipped the waitstaff about $20 a pop on top of the service charge. 

ETA – to clarify, I meant $20 per server.  Not that much, but they also aren’t getting $2.13 like most servers. 

Post # 6
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Service charge is the tip.  We added some extra cash for our event manager as she did a ton.  But if you feel like you didn’t receive great service than extra tip is not necessary.

Post # 7
3696 posts
Sugar bee

In Denise and Alan Fields’ book Bridal Bargains, I think I remember reading that the service fee is supposed to be the tip, but the service staff often doesn’t see any of that money (depends on the venue). Which totally sucks, but I can believe it.

I think I’m just going to flat-out ask the servers at our venue if the service charge goes to them or not. If they say “no,” I plan to publicize that fact in my review of the place. I will try to have some money available to give them as a tip if the service is really great. If it’s not … maybe I’ll suggest in my review that perhaps the fact that they don’t actually get the “service charge” money might be the reason why …?

I shouldn’t be so cynical, anticipating problems that haven’t happened yet and may not happen at all. But I also think it’s a big mandatory markup and I want to be damn sure it actually goes to the wait staff and doesn’t just become extra profit for the venue – since I already crunched some numbers related to their catering markup and was pretty annoyed about the results.

Post # 9
13889 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Read your contract to find out if that’s a tip or just a service charge.  My 22% service charge specifically says it does not include tips to the servers or bartenders.  I will be tipping based on a job well done to the supervisor so the money can be distributed evenly among the staff.


This website gives a pretty good  breakdown.  In most cases, the service charge is not the tip.

Post # 10
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I have a (silly) question…

What does that service fee cover if it doesn’t go towards tipping the staff?  20% – 22% is a lot of money!

Post # 11
2874 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

View original reply
@UmbrellaMoon:  not silly at all, i have no idea either!

so presumably, youre paying for food and drink. theyre getting wages, and yet the service charge isnt the tip? i dont understand what it could be for then

Post # 12
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

The hotel were having ours at is taking a $1,500 service charge and a $500 tip on top of our minimum so that $500 will be there tip from us.

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