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Etiquette

Banquet Servers Tipping Etiquette

I was hoping to get some advice regarding my wedding which is on 4-16-11 regarding the banquet servers. We are having a buffet, with paper plates and plastic forks (yah, I know not real elegant, but it was in our price range...plus we are not allwoed to use the kitchen to wash dishes since we did not go with their partner caterer)...so there is very very minimal serving and cleanup for the staff. There will be six servers for 152 people...so approximately three tables of eight per server...there wont even be any drink service at the tables. How do I determine the tip? The total bill is approximately $2600...20% of that is $360, which is $60 per server. While I have never been a waitress or banquet server, sixt dollars does seem a bit excessive to me!!! I was thinking maybe $30 per server? And I was also wondering if we give the tips to the individual servers, or is there a head server or person we would give it to? Please help!! If I need to, I will tip the $360, it just seems like SO much for the amount of work that will be done...
Thank You!

Re: Banquet Servers Tipping Etiquette

  • In Response to Banquet Servers Tipping Etiquette:
    I was hoping to get some advice regarding my wedding which is on 4-16-11 regarding the banquet servers. We are having a buffet, with paper plates and plastic forks (yah, I know not real elegant, but it was in our price range...plus we are not allwoed to use the kitchen to wash dishes since we did not go with their partner caterer)...so there is very very minimal serving and cleanup for the staff. There will be six servers for 152 people...so approximately three tables of eight per server...there wont even be any drink service at the tables. How do I determine the tip? The total bill is approximately $2600...20% of that is $360, which is $60 per server. While I have never been a waitress or banquet server, sixt dollars does seem a bit excessive to me!!! I was thinking maybe $30 per server? And I was also wondering if we give the tips to the individual servers, or is there a head server or person we would give it to? Please help!! If I need to, I will tip the $360, it just seems like SO much for the amount of work that will be done... Thank You!
    Posted by JeniBug82
    Nope, this is pretty standard if they do a good job. 
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  • I think $60/server is not extreme at all. When I was waitressing I would make $100+ in a 5 hour shift and the max tables we would have would be 5-8.
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  • It's not a question of the "amount" of work; it's their time.  They still have to be at your wedding from start to finish whether they are clearing china or paper.  I think 60 sounds about right.  I'd definitely not go below 50. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator 10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its
    mod
    $60 is a bad night to me.    If I make $100 I think it's only an 'okay' night.  

    $60 is NOT too much to tip.  

    image
  • $60 is fine... it's not great, but it's not horrible. As far as giving it out - if you or FH is giving it out, just give it to the head person and specify it's everyone's tips because you don't want to have to take time away from being with guests but if you have the BM or even your MOH doing it, they could give them to each individual server because 6 isn't that much
    image
  • I'd give the amount to the head server and let that person divvy it up.

    I'd tip the 20%.  This is what my mother taught me when it comes to tipping: better to give a few extra dollars and have the person say a silent blessing as they leave you than to save a few dollars and have the person say a silent curse.  For your wedding day, I'd opt for the blessing.
  • tsp698tsp698
    10 Comments
    member
    edited April 2011
    First, let me correct your math. 20% of 2600 is 520, 15% would be 390, and 10% is 260.

    With that out of the way,  banquet and catering servers don't usually make the "waiter minimum wage" They tend to be paid hourly,  check to see if there is a service charge (generally 18-20%) in your contract which would amount to about $87 a server in your case.

    Now I'm not at all condoning not tipping (I still wait tables part time, and FI is a restaurant manager), however you should defintely take the servers pay into consideration

    For example, I know for a fact that the servers working my wedding make between $10-$12 an hour. While I will be leaving a tip with the Banquet Captain  to distribute accordingly, I'm not going to be tipping the 20% I would at a restaurant.

    Now not all caterers and vendors are the same so its best to assess on a personal basis. If there is no service charge than you should tip as you would in the restaurant (hopefully) which is 20% ($520)

    *Edited for clarity
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  • thank you very much. yes, there is a seventeen percent service charge...unless i am misunderstanding something though it says gratuity is not included. i did think that the servers made a "regular" hourly wage rather than the normal server wage. i think i will check again witgh the caterer to be sure. but reading the other posts,im starting to think im in the wrong business (haha) thank you again
  • btw as a general rule i always tip at least eighteen percent at restaurants :)
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