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Budget and DIY Weddings

Is "Service Charge" same as "Gratuity"?

Our venue adds 8% state sales tax and a 20% "service charge". Would you treat that as gratuity for servers, bartenders & all other people employed by the venue working your wedding in your budget planning?

Re: Is "Service Charge" same as "Gratuity"?

  • yes I think service charge and gratuity is the same thing. 

  • No.  A service charge is imposed by the vendor - it isn't optional.   A gratuity is something the customer decides to give on top of all the other costs - it is entirely optional.
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    PrettyGirlLost
  • So the service charge, being 20%, will be thousands of dollars... I'm then expected to tip 20% on top of that??
  • If I'm pleased with service?
  • wabanzi said:
    Our venue adds 8% state sales tax and a 20% "service charge". Would you treat that as gratuity for servers, bartenders & all other people employed by the venue working your wedding in your budget planning?
    You should ask if the service charge money goes to the workers/servers.  If it does not, ask directly what is for/who gets it.  It could be a negotiable fee and/or a gratuity, but you will not know until you ask.

    Years ago when I was a bartender, service charges were added to the booked party. I plus the wait staff all got our cut as a guaranteed gratuity.  However, I have noticed many restaurants now add that fee for large parties as a way to pad the bill.  Before I book, I ask them to either drop it (if it is not a gratuity), or put it in writing that it is the servers' gratuities.  A copy of that contract is placed in an envelope with any extra gratuity we wish (if given) and handed to the head server/staff at the end of the event.

    Great advice, thanks!
  • I asked and the manager said it wasn't. The gratuity was up to me. The SC, was not negotiable.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • At my venue the service charge acts at a gratuity for the service staff.

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  • that's what I was thinking CrystaH.  maybe it all depends on the state and venue
  • So then what is the service charge for? We have a 20% service charge, but it's the gratuity for the staff. Paying 20% on top of your bill for a service charge plus then a 20% tip seems like an awful lot to me. 
    image
    melbelleup
  • You really need to ask your venue. I think for most places it's to compensate your servers/waiters/etc. So it's already included in your bill. Think about it. If you go to a restaurant with 8 or more people in a party, a lot of places include a 15% gratuity automatically on your bill. So a service charge of 20% for 100 or so people makes perfect sense. I'm not sure what it would be for if not for that purpose, but do ask your venue to make sure.
     
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    PrettyGirlLostorwhatuwill
  • So then what is the service charge for? We have a 20% service charge, but it's the gratuity for the staff. Paying 20% on top of your bill for a service charge plus then a 20% tip seems like an awful lot to me. 
    As PP's have said, ask your venue to specify, but in my area the service charge is the charge for the staff serving your food and beverages. . . that is the language in the contract quotes we were given.

    Therefore the gratuity will be in addition to the service charge.
    image
    orwhatuwill
  • EverAferEverAfer
    100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    member
    edited October 2013
    Our venue explained that the service charge is gratuity & labor, etc. 22%. We're also charged 7% Sales tax and 1% City Tax.

    When we got the contract, I went through each point and asked them to clarify on things (by email so I can have it in writing.)

    Edited-more to add.
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